Talk:Safety

From DIYWiki

In General

I'm aiming for an article that's succinct, informative and to the point.

For the inexperienced DIYer I've tried to give an idea that there are unexpected dangers and you need to develop a certain attitude to DIY safely.

Then I've started to assemble some subject-specific cut-to-the-chase guides and hints,

still need sections on

  • general power tool safety, specifics for
    • grinding wheels,
    • circular saws,
    • chain saws
  • safety wrt hot water and steam
  • chemicals
  • working at heights
  • lifting
  • excavations
  • ...
  • lifting (need pictures)
  • protective gear

--John Stumbles 10:52, 23 February 2007 (GMT)

Format

I've used a single '=' as the first layer of the multilevel format here because using == does not give enough layers for the information presented. There is of course more info yet to come. NT 11:58, 22 February 2007 (GMT)

If we need 5 levels of heading I think something should be split off into an article of its own. Can we stick to mediawiki conventions on heading levels?

Start with 2 equals signs not 1 because 1 creates H1 tags which should be reserved for page title.

I don't know why this is but the mediawiki designers probably know more about this wiki engine than we do!

--John Stumbles 08:31, 23 February 2007 (GMT)


FOLLOWING STUFF MOVED OUT OF ARTICLE:

I've moved the following out of the article where they're empty place-holders or need fleshing out (in which case they should go in the to-do list above) or where they don't explain the actual safety issues (e.g. vinegar) or where they aren't about an issue likely to occur in DIY working (e.g. the well-water one - maybe that could go in an article on water supply systems?)

Excavation

Power Tools

Drill Circular saw Chainsaw Holesaw Dremel

Water

Hot Water

Hot water tank temperature

Showers

Scalding

Hot header tanks

May soften and collapse

Steam

Pressurised water

(eg pressure washers)

Infection

Pigeon in tank etc

Backfeeding & double check valves

Wells

Well water is prone to a wide range of safety issues, and should always be tested before being used as potable water. The need for remedial treatment before consumption is routine.


Patio Cleaner

Toxins

Oxalic acid

Vinegar

Vinegar is entirely innocent until used, but once it gets onto copper (or any copper alloy) it becomes saturated with copper salts. Copper is actully an essential nutrient in miniscule quantities, but the amounts found in copper cleaning runoff are enough to cause serious problems. Even vinegar can land you in trouble.

Screws

Screwing causes injuries too. See Screws


Method of lifting

Load Limits

Observe the Safe Working Load limits stamped on the ratings plate on your butt, don't exceed your rated values. This is sometimes difficult to read due to its location, in which case your load rating can be assessed by a doctor or physical therapist. Ratings may vary widely between different models of DIYer, so it is not always wise to make assumptions.

Exceeding the printed ratings may cause some of the zeros to fall off, leaving the DIYer unable to work. Although this damage can often be repaired by a body shop, the repair process is often long and costly, and in some cases the damage is permanent.

Nice one! Sadly, not really right for the article

--John Stumbles 08:31, 23 February 2007 (GMT)

I dont know why youve removed a lot of information about safety, specifically water, chemicals, vinegar, screws, and load limits. it is what the article is about after all. Dont know whats unclear about vinegar either... if you want to reach some kind of concensus it would help to explain. NT 17:42, 23 February 2007 (GMT)

The bits about vinegar and screws didn't give any explanation how they were hazardous and what you should do about them (not have vinegar on your chips? stick to nails?). The Load Limits bit was facetious and amusing but not practically helpful - I replaced it with something about correct lifting techniques and protective clothing.

As for the stuff about pigeons in tanks and well water, and support of hot water tanks: I felt it was the wrong sort of safety. I know that sounds daft but I'm not sure how to put it. There's safety in what you're doing, like using a chainsaw or raising a tonne weight or applying caustic paint stripper; and there's safety in how electrical and gas installations are designed and installed, and how water tanks are installed, and potable water supplies arranged. Seems to me they're different and belong in different places. As I mentioned at the start of thsi page I'm trying to make the article succinct - to encourage people to actually read it. If it wanders off into a treatise on well-water processing plant design I think it loses that.

--John Stumbles 21:05, 23 February 2007 (GMT)

This seems a bit inacurate "Drain cleaning chemicals are usually strongs acids or alkalis which are extremely dangerous" given that there are so few deaths from them. Walking up the stairs kills far more people. NT 17:45, 23 February 2007 (GMT)

Depends what you mean by "dangerous" I suppose. By the same measure nitroglycerine isn't "extremenly dangerous". Far more people walk up & down stairs than handle conc. H2S04 and NaOH: if the same numbers did both activities just as often I think there'd be more casualties from the chemicals.

--John Stumbles 21:05, 23 February 2007 (GMT)


Re removal etc...

"The bits about vinegar and screws didn't give any explanation how they were hazardous and what you should do about them (not have vinegar on your chips? stick to nails?)."

If you left it there any info you thought was missing could be added. If you remove anything you dont think perfect we're wasting our time. If each of us does that there will be nothing left. By all means remove what is by all verifiable accounts invalid and incorrect, as I've done twice, but removing developing valid input is not going to help.

OK, I didn't delete it, I moved it here, with a suggestion that the actual hazards should be identified if it's going to be in an article on safety. The text was:

"Vinegar is entirely innocent until used, but once it gets onto copper (or any copper alloy) it becomes saturated with copper salts. Copper is actully an essential nutrient in miniscule quantities, but the amounts found in copper cleaning runoff are enough to cause serious problems. Even vinegar can land you in trouble."

What are the "serious problems"? What "trouble" can vinegar land you in? I'd really like to know!. (FWIW I've recently cleaned brass - a copper alloy - with vinegar and I'm still here!) --John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)


" The Load Limits bit was facetious and amusing but not practically helpful"

I thought knowing one's personal load limits was a key component in lifting safety. Or do you think all diyers are in perfect health and equally strong?

Is it? I don't know mine but I do a fair amount of lifting and shifting and have managed to stay injury-free. I do have some idea when I look at a boiler spec that about 25kg is a one-person lift and I can carry it up a ladder and hang it on a wall, but I can get an old cast-iron boiler up off the ground and into the back of the van and that's maybe twice that weight. I think safe lifting is more down to bending right and feeling what's OK.

--John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)

DIYers are not the same as professional builders in this respect, and a great toll of damage is done to people every year by folk not knowing and respecting their limits.

People's lives are too often torn apart when they can no longer work or get around properly. DIY should be done safely, not ignorantly and self destructively. I cant see any possible valid basis for considering this not practically helpful.

As for humour, dry boring safety advice is much more likely to be read through, thought about and remembered when framed in a humorous way.

My point was that the jokey piece was amusing but not practically helpful. If I have a ratings plate stamped on my butt my doctor has never mentioned it and I doubt a "therapist" would be any better placed to do so! Even if I did how would I use that figure? I daresay there's some science that a trained something-or-other can do to assess whether a given person can safely lift a particular weight, size and shape of object through a given path but it's bound to be different for different shapes and sizes and where you're lifting from and to etc as well as just the weight. And even then there's also the factor of whether your muscles are warmed up or stiff - or why would weight lifters bother limbering up before a lift? I certainly don't have the expertise to work something out mathematically (do you?). From a practical POV it seems to me that if you're lifting correctly you're just going to find you simply can't lift beyond your capacity than to injure yourself. --John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)

"- I replaced it with something about correct lifting techniques and protective clothing."

a good and needed addition, but removing the above clearly removes an important consideration. Many injuries occur from people lifting more weight than they are really able, and the lone diyer without full professional kit, written safety guidance, or any onsite safety expert is especially vulnerable to this. Vulnerable to the extent of 200,000 injuries per year in fact. Personally I'd like to se a few fewer people destroy their lives.

BTW where does the 200,000 figure come from? Is that 200,000 DIYers injuring themselves lifting beyond their capacity every year? --John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)

"As for the stuff about pigeons in tanks and well water, and support of hot water tanks: I felt it was the wrong sort of safety. I know that sounds daft but I'm not sure how to put it. There's safety in what you're doing, like using a chainsaw or raising a tonne weight or applying caustic paint stripper; and there's safety in how electrical and gas installations are designed and installed, and how water tanks are installed, and potable water supplies arranged. Seems to me they're different and belong in different places. As I mentioned at the start of thsi page I'm trying to make the article succinct - to encourage people to actually read it."

The title is safety, so it covers safety. Lots of people after you and me will add safety relevant info here of all kinds. Safety issues exist in every area of diy.

If you want an article that covers a much more restricted amount of ground, which is a fine idea, then thinking of an appropriate article title would enable it to do just this. Maybe something like 'Key safety advice' 'Biggest safety issues' 'Most important safety points' 'Read me first' 'Danger: DIY' or something.

Or maybe we could have safety as a category, and the main safety article has links to many other safety articles, the first of which would be a short one addressing the prime issues.

Safety is a category. I take your point about the scope of this particular article: I think that could be stated at the outset, pointing the reader in the direction of appropriate material relevant to safety in installations. I don't think the content of the current 'safety' article should be moved into a "safety in doing things" type of article - at least not just now - because you'd end up with a rather short main article containing just a few links which would add another level of link-following to get to any useful info. From personal experience (and I'm sure I've seen a web usability study somewhere though I can't find it right now) having to hop multiple links to get anywhere useful is a PITA. --John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)

"If it wanders off into a treatise on well-water processing plant design I think it loses that."

No such was discussed. Sarcasm loses the point.

Sorry if it came across as sarcasm. Though I don't see why we shouldn't have a treatise on well-water processing plant design is someone has the expertise to write one, just trying to keep the main safety article succinct. --John Stumbles 14:25, 24 February 2007 (GMT)


Removing valid safety information from the safety article is not constructive. NT 08:32, 24 February 2007 (GMT)

Re deletion, I'm quite sure we both know nothing is deleted from wiki, as wiki keeps copies of every version, it is only deleted from the current version of the article page.

I note you removed relevant info on back injuries, which injure and disable a large number every year, while adding a section on electicity, which during diy activity kills and disables single figures per year.

Life is too short. NT 20:33, 2 March 2007 (GMT)


What was the relevant info on back injuries I removed - you mean the bit about "Safe Working Load limits stamped on the ratings plate on your butt"? Do you find that to be useful info then? By all means put it back in if you do, but please could you add a guide or example of how to apply it because I - as a reader and DIYer - can't see how I would use it. (Whereas I can - and do - use the guidance to lifting in the text and illustration I put in, and I do recognise that it's an issue that needs to be addressed.)

As for there being few casualties of accidents involving electricity: how many incidents involving chlorine evolved from mixing bog cleaners are there? However since the consequences of such incidents are so severe it seems worth covering them.

--John Stumbles 21:05, 2 March 2007 (GMT)