Starting a handyman business is a great option for those who like to fix things, build things, and generally work with their hands. Every day can be different, and you meet a lot of people and build strong connections. However, being a handyman also means being at risk on every job. There are many ways to injure yourself or worse while you are working, and you should do everything you can to prevent it. If you put up your shingle and become a handyman without prior professional experience, you may not realize some of the safety issues you are facing. Here are some of the top tips if you own a handyman business.
Protect Your Fingers and Toes
No matter what you are doing, from fixing appliances to building a fence, there is a risk to your fingers, your toes, or both. Make sure to use gloves with grips, and watch where you put your hands. The grips will also protect your toes, since you will be less likely to drop heavy objects. You should wear steel-toed or composite work footwear at all times, even if you are not working with heavy objects. You could step on a nail, break a toe on a tool, or even sever a digit completely if you are not careful.
There are a lot of jobs that involve sparks or wood chips flying through the air. You might be sawing or grinding, or even nailing something into metal or wood. You might not realize that these objects can get into your eyes and cause serious damage. It’s very easy to prevent that, however, and it does not involve turning your head away, which is very dangerous. Safety glasses will protect your eyes, and you can get some that will fit over your regular glasses. One is for sure, if you blind yourself, your handyman days will be over.
While insurance doesn’t actually protect your physical body from harm, it does mitigate the effects there can be afterwards. You need to get handyman business insurance to protect your business in any situations that could harm it. There are coverages to compensate you if you hurt yourself and are unable to work. You should also protect against having to pay out a client if you harm them or damage their property. Make sure that you also have commercial auto insurance if you have a vehicle that you use on jobs.
When you are a handyman, you could end up doing any kind of job on any given day. Plus, you never know what the location will be like. If you are sanding wood in an enclosed space, or pulling up carpets full of pet dander. Many handymen use dust masks, but they are not up to the job of fully protecting your lungs. Dust and other nasty substances can still sneak around the outsides and escape the filters. Dust respirators are heavier duty, fit closer against you to prevent leaks, and have filters that can be replaced when they are dirty. Dust, allergens, and toxins can seriously harm your health, so you need to protect yourself properly from them.
Cords and Wires
Make sure that you take care with any cords or wires that you are working with. This includes those for your power tools and equipment. Do not leave them dangling. Tie them off so that the stay off the floor if possible. If you have to run wire over a long stretch, place them up against walls and other objects so that you are less likely to trip on them or get your feet tangled.
First Aid Kit
You should have a first aid kit with you on every job you do. Do not leave it in the truck, either. It should have bandaids, bandages, and antiseptic. Even the smallest cut can get infected, so make sure that as soon as you are nicked you clean it off and put a covering on it. You can also use the bangles as slings in case you have possibly broken a bone and need to immobilize it.
As we get older, our bodies can’t do the same things they used to do. The more time you spend on your knees putting down flooring or getting into a crawl space, the more wear and tear you will put on them. Knee padding can help reduce the impact on your knees, and keep them from wearing out on you too early. You might be fine getting up and down on your knees now, but in a few years time you will start to feel the result of all of that time on your knees. Padding will make you more comfortable in the present and in the future.
Sometimes working as a handyman means spending a lot of time out in the hot sun. Dehydration and heat stroke are very real risks that you should be concerned about. Even if you are able to retreat to the shade for breaks, you still need to be hydrating yourself. People who work outside doing construction and repair work die every year from heatstroke and heat-related issues. There is no reason for you not to have water with you at all times. Make sure if you have any employees with you that they have enough water as well. At the very least, keeping hydrated will prevent cramping and other problems that could harm your productivity.
Make sure that you are regularly cleaning up after yourself to avoid clutter and tripping hazards. It can be tempting to leave everything in place so that you don’t have to take it all out and set it up again, but taking those few extra minutes can save you from serious injury. Plus, it will leave a good impression with the client.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to safety for your handyman business. Never take your health and safety for granted, and do whatever you can do keep yourself safe while out on the job.