As COVID-19 has led to area residents spending more time at home, many have begun taking on do-it-yourself projects, which can come with their own set of risks, including bone, joint and muscle injuries. From crafty décor to home improvement jobs, board-certified sports medicine surgeon Rajesh B. Makim, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron offers expert safety guidelines for adults and families to follow while undertaking any project this fall. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (810) 985-4900 to be seen safely by Dr. Makim in Port Huron at 940 River Centre Drive. Telehealth appointments are also available.
"Home improvement projects and crafts are associated with a large number of minor and serious injuries — this year, that risk may be higher with more area residents taking on projects as they are spending more time at home," says Dr. Makim. "From decorations around the house to larger home improvement jobs, fall projects can be fun and rewarding to accomplish, but they also involve a number of safety risks, so I wanted to share a list of guidelines for completing projects safely."
Follow these safety tips from Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron to help avoid injuries when you undertake a project:
- Use the right tools for the job with the proper technique: Ensure you are using the right tools for your project and that you know how to use them safely. Bruising and even fractures are associated with improper hammering, and lacerations as well as nerve injuries are common with knives, sharp tools and even scissors. Also, make sure that if your children are helping with a project, that their tasks do not involve sharp objects.
- Power tools require extra caution: Power drills, power saws, weed whackers and even sewing machines can be very dangerous. Be sure you know exactly how to operate a machine before you use it. Your machine needs to be stable, and and you need to keep your focus on it entirely while it is on. Do not put your hand, fingers or arm near drill bits, blades or needles before a machine is completely turned off.
- Wear the right equipment: This may include gloves, eye protection, a dust mask and possibly safety boots. Do not wear dangling jewelry, loose sleeves, baggy clothes, shorts or sandals and if you have long hair, put it up.
- Keep a clean, level, well-lit and dry workspace: You should also place any tool not being used in a safe location to help you avoid tripping injuries.
- Know and practice ladder safety: Be sure that you place your ladder on a flat surface. Keep the weight centered and do not overextend to reach any item. Also, make sure someone is holding the ladder.
- Take breaks to avoid overuse injuries and pain: Varying your tasks can also help prevent acute injuries as well as chronic injuries. Listen to your body and make changes as necessary, especially if heavy lifting is involved.
"If you have been working with tools or doing heavy lifting and you feel any numbness, pain or have loss of mobility in your extremities, seek medical attention," adds Dr. Makim. "Serious injuries should be seen by a specialist as soon as possible."
A native of Birmingham, Michigan, Dr. Makim is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. He joined Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron in 1999. Dr. Makim received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He then completed an internship and orthopedic surgery residency there at the University of Michigan Health System. Dr. Makim is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery for both orthopedic surgery and the subspecialty of sports medicine.
To learn more about orthopedic safety or schedule a safe appointment with Dr. Makim, call (810) 985-4900.