Getting injured while carrying out home improvements or decorations is more common than you’d imagine. Slipping down and breaking a leg or even just twisting an ankle badly enough can see you taking a trip to the local hospital and being off work for a few days to recuperate. It can be a costly mistake when you don’t take the proper precautions before going ahead with changes to your home.

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Here are a few ideas on how to best avoid injuries while performing home improvements or decorating your home.

Use a Safety Harness

There are times when you’ll be making repairs, maintenance or redecorating at a height above the ground. It’s all too easy to lose your footing and fall down. That might be falling off a ladder or off the side of the building to the next floor down. Hospitals have seen it all when it comes to overly adventurous homeowners who didn’t think that they needed to consider their safety before climbing up.

A quality fall protection harness straps around you and can be hooked onto something secure to hold you in place. Whether stepping over a landing to paint the other side, fixing an outdoor light that’s 10 feet off the ground or cleaning out the gutters, protecting yourself from bodily injury is a necessary precaution that’s worth taking.

Get Support When Climbing a Ladder

Don’t think that the ladder is secure and won’t slip while you’re climbing up or down. While they usually have rubber feet to hold them in place, it’s possible that they’ve been worn down or that the ground is more slippery than you thought. Strange things happen when putting an extra couple hundred pounds up on a ladder positioned at an angle!

Make sure that you have someone there to hold the ladder while you climb up, when you’re on it, and when climbing back to down too. There’s really no safe time on a ladder. Don’t believe us? Half a million Americans fall off ladders and injure themselves annually and 97 percent of those happen at their residence. Don’t be a statistic.

Wear Protective Gear with Home Decorations

Whether you’re stripping off plaster or painting the walls, it’s amazing what debris flies into the air when getting going with home decorations. The eyes can quickly get clogged up when dust and plaster mixes with the air particles. When working with paint or wood, paint specs or wood chips can hit the eyeball and cause discomfort or even permanent damage to your vision. Wear a pair of protective eyewear to prevent this from happening.

Also, wear some overalls to cover yourself when doing any major renovations. Expect to get your sneakers messed up too. Be careful when using any kind of power tool as they can be dangerous when you’re not used to them or failing to pay enough attention.

Lastly, if you’re redecorating a room, use a drop cloth to avoid the flooring getting damaged. If you cannot move furniture out of the room, cover it over with plastic sheeting too.