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Do It Yourself

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Coming across a large row of peculiarly sparse meat shelves while wandering around the supermarket one afternoon it became apparent after close inspection of the shelf talking price tickets, proffering succulent sausages, hearty burgers and exotic kebabs, that barbeque season had arrived.

What is it about the Great British summer that sees grown men turn into Supermarket Sweep clones, racing down the meat aisles to fill their trolly while the sun smirks from above? And not forgetting the obligatory family trip down to the local DIY store with grand designs on a wonderfully decked garden haven for the highly anticipated heatwave that is now, most definitely, here.

Everyman is Bob the Builder during this mission to create an alfresco masterpiece, with tool belts and materials in place, but in their haste it is surprising what little they do to protect their eyes considering more than 30,000 eye accidents every year are a result of DIY mishaps*.

Eye protection is essential for many DIY projects regardless of perfect vision, especially projects that predominantly need a hammer and nails to connect large quantities of splint ridden planks together. Always wear safety goggles, not just on the off chance that your eyes need protected from sporadic flying nails, but to prevent dust and splinters from getting in your eyes, obstructing or damaging your vision, possibly permanently.

For those with less than perfect vision, wearing contact lenses or prescription glasses does not constitute adequate protection. Regular glasses are not made to British Standard requirements for such protection and may even lead to greater eye damage should they break, while resulting dust particles can not only render your contact lenses visually useless, but can cause great discomfort.

Prescription safety goggles can be bought from your optician and it’s safe to say they will probably get more wear than the latest Black and Decker power tool that has been gathering dust in the garden shed since last year’s ‘heatwave’. Ask your optician for advice on what eye protection is best for you and the task in hand.

As most common DIY eye injuries are caused by flying chips of wood it makes sense for our budding Bob the Builders to heed advice on this occasion than to end up like a poor imitation of Jack Sparrow wearing an eye patch and peg leg – a look that could be more permanent than this year’s heat wave.

* DTI HASS (Home Accident Surveillance System) statistics

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