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Published: Tuesday, 10/25/2005

Do-It-Yourselfers Want To Play It Safe

In a survey, do-it-yourselfers said safety was more important than how a project turned out.
In a survey, do-it-yourselfers said safety was more important than how a project turned out.

Increasingly, do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) are finding it difficult to mask their concerns when it comes to safety. Recently, more than half of those who participated in a survey rated safety as more important than even the end result of a DIY project.

That may explain why an overwhelming number of these respondents said they or a family member had worn some type of protective apparel, such as a mask, when undertaking home improvement projects, yard or automotive work.

Those who wear safety-related apparel reported wearing gloves more than any other type of protective clothing. Safety goggles were next in popularity, followed by dust masks and coveralls. The chief reason given for wearing this kind of clothing was to avoid getting chemicals on the skin.

When asked to name the most annoying aspects of do-it-yourself projects, breathing in fumes or particles took the top spot, according to more than half of DIYers who wear protective clothing.

Eighty-three percent said they would be likely to wear an N95 sanding mask when taking on jobs such as sanding drywall if the mask could protect against exposure to dust and other irritants that can lead to throat irritation and breathing problems.

When asked their opinion on how to stay safe, the respondents offered these tips:

Make sure you know what you're doing before getting started (over 50 percent),

Follow manufacturers' instructions (21 percent),

Purchase protective apparel and use it (14 percent).

A small minority reported they fail to wear protective apparel for do-it-yourself projects. Of those, just over half said it was because they simply prefer to wear old clothes. A few said it was because the apparel they tried previously was either too hot or too uncomfortable or because they were not sure what to buy.

Whatever the reason, it's definitely not because they're afraid of what the neighbors might think. In a rare survey result, not a single person chose this option.

When taking on a home improvement or DIY project, always remember to read the manufacturer's labeling, instructions and warnings to ensure you have chosen the correct product and protection level for the task.

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