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When considering safety at home, typically we think of a security system, checking for locked windows and doors, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and child-proofing all the rooms. Before participating in sports or in certain work settings, such as construction sites, we wear appropriate protective equipment. Why is it that we tend to neglect these things in the course of our daily household activities? Isn’t our safety at home equally important? Every task you perform should be approached with safety in mind.

Here are just a few things to consider:

Hands – Gloves are good for a better grip and to protect your skin. Vinyl, latex, or synthetic gloves should be worn when working with cleaning products or any other household chemicals, including paint. They are also great for cleaning up after pets. Use cotton or knit gloves in the garden, and heavy, leather gloves for lifting and working with tools. Wearing gloves does not eliminate the need to wash your hands when your chore/project is complete.

Eyes Always wear proper eye protection when working with tools and power equipment. It is a good idea to protect your eyes while painting too, especially the ceiling. Paint easily splatters and is very dangerous to the eyes. An eye shield may be appropriate in some cases, such as with women and hair spray. There are plastic shields that can block your eyes, or at least place a towel over your face.

Ears – Noises 85 decibels and above will cause damage to your ears. Surprisingly, noises from many daily activities are above that range. Permanent hearing loss can’t be reversed. Protect your ears especially when working with loud power tools or lawn equipment. There are several hearing protective devices on the market.

Feet Flip flops are not meant for yard work especially when working with lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and a lawn edger. It is important to wear the proper footwear when working in the yard. Wear heavy boots, or at least tennis shoes. Shoes are not necessary for dusting and laundry, but can save your toes from injury if they get stuck under the vacuum cleaner.

Back – When lifting, bend at the knees rather than the waist. Hold items close to your body when lifting. Step in the direction of your turn and never lift more than you are able to easily carry. A couple perfect examples is transferring clothes from the washer to dryer or taking out the trash.

Besides preparing in advance, household injuries can be avoided by simply paying attention to what you are doing. We become so accustom to the routine and repetition that we tend to let our guard down. We try to multi-task and think it is quicker to cut out some steps. The next thing you know, we are grabbing the first aid kit or being rushed to the emergency room. Protect you and your family by holding a monthly “home safety” meeting. They are good ways to keep everyone out of harm’s way.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed while personal injury litigation is being pursued in our civil justice system. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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