Avoid a DIY disaster! Top tips for a safe summer spruce up

Ah, the summer holidays are upon us. They can be relaxing, a chance to reconnect with family and friends; or a stress-filled six weeks. You may be tempted to use your time off to do some DIY, add value to your home and clear those pesky tree branches and leaves, working on guttering or window frames.

But this involves a high risk of injury if you are not an expert, particularly when using a ladder. Do you really want to spend your time off in A&E?

Here are some no-fuss tips from Paul Bruton, Product Development Director of WernerCo UK.

He said: “Every year as during school holidays, more and more people want to spruce up their homes whether it’s a deep clean, DIY jobs or essential maintenance. However, the risks they take to do so are quite alarming.”

  • Use the right tools for the job, and get a helper on board – If you are working on a tree out in the garden, you’ll need a large stepladder or podium ladder for stability.
  • When carrying out work on guttering or window frames on the outside of the house, an extension ladder is advised. Alternatively, when working around electricity a fibreglass ladder is the perfect solution as they are non-conductive.
  • Lock down the ladder – Before climbing, make certain the safety catches are firmly locked in place.
  • Eyes forward – Position the ladder so that you are facing it as you work, not away from it. Otherwise consider using a podium ladder that allows for a 360-degree work zone.
  • Keep your distance – Don’t climb any higher than what’s stated on the safety instructions on the ladder.
  • Door safety– If the ladder needs to be positioned close to a door, make sure it can’t swing open and collide with the ladder. Always advise anyone inside that you’re directly outside the door.
  • Adapt to your surface – Indoors or outdoors, if the floor surface is slick, place a rubber mat or attach rubber grips to the ladder legs to increase its stability. If it is a leaning ladder, ensure you have someone footing it for you.
  • Bare your sole – Check that the soles of your shoes are clean – water, mud or grease can cause accidents.

Paul added: “DIY tasks obviously come with a number of risks, and falling is only one factor to consider. It’s important that people are taking every precaution possible to minimise the risk of injury when sprucing up their home and garden after the winter months.”

To find out more about WernerCo and its comprehensive range of ladders visit



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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