With summer officially upon us, many of us will be working on D-I-Y projects around the house. Unfortunately thousands of people across the country get injured doing D-I-Y projects because they neglect to wear proper hearing, lung and eye protection. Home improvement expert and TV personality Lou Manfredini joined me recently to share his favorite safety products and discuss how you can protect yourself from injury.
Candace Rose: So lets talk about D-I-Y – how many people get injured doing do it yourself projects every year?
Lou Manfredini: “Too many. We just did a recent survey- I work with the 3M Tekk Protection brand, and they along with the National Safety Council just did a survey asking DIYers ‘what’s the story? What’s your experience been doing these projects?’ 36% of the DIYers said that they were injured while doing work in and around their home. Now that isn’t so surprising to me, but this was: 77% admit that they skipped any type of recommended protective gear that was needed for a project or maybe a tool that they purchased. They didn’t even consider it. That’s alarming to me because I think that people just don’t understand how important it is to be safe when you’re doing these projects and it creates a little bit of apathy that can then get people hurt. Then the normal things that we do- 39% of people said when I mow the lawn I get hurt. These are everyday projects that many of us do, and I really want to try and help people understand that there are little things you can do to keep yourself safe, so that you can be in good shape to do projects day in and day out.
There are other things like safety glasses- this is kind of my thing that I’m beating the drum about. This needs to become second nature and there’s no excuse to not wear safety glasses anymore because they’re very stylish and they’re very comfortable to wear. They’re not like what we used to wear in science class. 3M Tekk Protection brand has all kinds of safety glasses, but this ForceFlex that they have that’s really neat. The frames themselves are so durable that you can squeeze it, you can twist them and step on it. The lenses aren’t going to break, the frames aren’t going to lose their shape so that when you put it back on it’s still comfortable to wear. So that’s what I want people to get in the habit of because stuff can fly in your eyes doing any kind of project- you could be scraping some paint off the overhang of your house, you could be using that lawnmower and something could fly up in the air. You just want to be smart, we only get two eyes. This needs to be second nature when doing projects around the home.”
Candace Rose: What other safety concerns would you say are often overlooked?
Lou Manfredini: “I think one is protecting our hearing and the other is protecting our lungs. A lot of the equipment we use in the projects that we use make a lot of noise. We don’t think about our hearing- disposable foam earplugs that you kind of spin in your fingers and place into your ears expand or cut the decibels dramatically of what’s coming in. Or if you want to do something a little bit more extensive, you can wear protective earmuffs and there’s even a product called WorkTunes which is a set of earmuffs that cancel the noise tremendously, but there’s a built-in AM/FM radio and it also has an MP3 capability where you can plug in your MP3 and it only retails for about $60 and quite frankly you don’t even know you have those on and it’s kind of fun to wear when you’re doing projects around your home.
And then your lungs. This is something especially during the summer months when you’re out there doing projects maybe your stripping furniture or your using some kind of paint that’s kicking out fumes, you don’t want to be breathing all that stuff in or maybe you’re sanding and dust is in the air. Respirators are very important to wear; one downside to the old ones is when you’re using a painting respirator and you’re wearing the safety glasses and you’re exhaling and you fog up the glasses and you take everything off and you’re defeating the purpose altogether. 3M Tekk came out with this cool valve on the front which has a flapper when you exhale the air goes out and there’s no fog in the glasses. It’s very reasonably priced- we’re talking about a few dollars but priceless as to what it does to protect your lungs from breathing in this stuff.”
Candace Rose: Well, thanks so much Lou. Where can we go for more information?
Lou Manfredini: “We put a bunch of tips and information at 3MTekk.”