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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
3 September 2014

The State’s consumer watchdog is urging South Australians to take extra care when working around the house or on their cars.

September’s ‘Don’t be a tool’ initiative is aimed at preventing potential accidents while people enjoy their DIY repairs, renovations or building work.

“The initiative reminds consumers that some jobs are best left to the experts, rather than calling in a qualified tradesperson after the event to fix up the mess,” Commissioner Dini Soulio said.

“And for safety’s sake, always use a licensed electrician for any electrical work.

“Seemingly simple tasks such as pruning, cleaning out gutters and painting a ceiling lead to thousands of hospital visits each year.

“Almost 1300 people are hospitalised each year across Australia due to ladder injuries alone.

“And when it comes to more complex tasks, ask your local hardware store for advice or look online for videos and tips from reliable sources about how to get the job done well and safely. If in any doubt, use a licenced tradie.

“‘Don’t be a jackass’ is another strong message of the campaign, to warn consumers to never get under a vehicle that is only supported by a jack.

“People have been crushed to death or severely injured when they have not used jacks, support stands or ramps properly.

“Across the country there are about 160 reports each year of amputation, fractures and crush injuries associated with vehicle jacks.

“More often than not, when it comes to DIY, safety issues arise with the user rather than the product.”

The campaign provides helpful advice on:
•    using a ladder safely;
•    hiring a licensed and reputable tradesperson; and
•    working under a vehicle.

For more information see cbs.sa.gov.au or see the safety videos on productsafety.gov.au.