When considering a Do-It-Yourself (DYI)project, few people include the risk of injury as part of the calculus for the home improvement project. A new report finds homeowner’s risk for injury during DIY projects and makes a good case as why you may want to leave renovation and remodeling projects to the pros.
Clearsurance, a homeowner insurance provider, found that more than 290,000 U.S. homeowners rushed to the ER in 2020 due to home improvement accidents, with nearly 25,000 admitted to the hospital.
The company collected and analyzed data from the 2020 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a database created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Since these reports were tracked by product injury, each are attributed to home workshop equipment.
Even professionals get injured, but these numbers shine a light on an unfortunate side to homeowners highly confident in their DIY abilities.
A 2022 survey conducted by Lowe’s found homeowners would likely try nearly any project themselves. More than 50% of respondents stated they would likely DIY basements, home gyms, closets, garages, offices, porches, bedrooms, living rooms, and landscaping, instead of hiring a professional.
In fact, there were only two types of projects, building exterior and whole house where more than 50% of respondents said they would hire a pro.
Common DIY Injuries
The top DIY injury in 2020, unsurprisingly, were lacerations. These accounted for 43.9% of DIY trips to the ER, followed by fractures and contusion/abrasions.
Almost 3% of those injuries involved internal organs, avulsion, burns, poisoning, crushing, concussion, and dermatitis/conjunctivitis.
The body part most likely to be injured are fingers, according to the report. Fingers accounted for 40% of injuries, followed by hand, then eyeball, head, upper trunk, and face.
When comparing the workshop equipment that caused injury most to the body part injured, there’s a clear connection.
Most Dangerous Household Tools
Household tools with the greatest likelihood of causing injury were workshop manual tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, or wrenches, followed by power saws. Almost 37% of injuries were reportedly caused by manual tools, and another 29% were attributed to power saws.
As the weather warms, more homeowners are likely to take on DIY projects, and as a result, more will end up in the ER, according to a monthly analysis of the hospital visits.
Overall, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reported higher numbers of injuries in summer through fall. The same trend is seen in home workshop equipment injuries.
The risk of injury. Another good reason to skip the DIY project and go with pro’s who can manage the risk and ensure the job is done right.