Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Dr Claire Noone is urging Victorians to stay safe as people use the Easter break to catch up on their DIY jobs.
“Every year at least 2000 Victorians are seriously injured carrying out ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) work – and men are five times more likely to be injured,” Dr Noone said.
"Safety should be at the forefront of everyone's mind at this time – we can avoid accidents and injuries,” she said.
One common DIY job is servicing the car before hitting the road for the long weekend.
From 2000-2007 more than 300 Victorians were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by vehicle jacks and portable ramps.
More than 50 per cent of vehicle jack related injuries occur at home.
“The task of raising and supporting a vehicle is inherently hazardous due to the weight of the vehicle and its lack of stability when raised,” Dr Noone said.
“The last place you want to spend your Easter break is in hospital, so take a few extra minutes to check your work area is safe,” she said.
Many accidents occur when instructions and safety labels are not read, understood or followed.
Working under vehicles supported by vehicle jacks or portable ramps is dangerous. It is important to ensure that safety instructions are followed.
In Australia 29 people have died while working under cars supported by vehicle jacks. One person died in an incident related to use of a portable ramp.
Victoria has mandatory safety standards for vehicle jacks and portable ramps, which mirror the Commonwealth’s standards.
“Many accidents are associated with the misuse of vehicle jacks, particularly where users get under a vehicle once raised instead of correctly supporting the vehicle,” Dr Noone said.
“Safety warnings are an important part of the mandatory safety standards as many accidents are associated with misuse of vehicle jacks, which are designed only for changing tyres, not for working under the vehicle,” she said.
For more information contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au
Haifa Majdali, Media Adviser, ph: 8684 8339