Inspectors never know what they’re in for with any house. One might be well-kept with new electrical and no obstacles blocking what you need to inspect. And then the next house on your list might have a dangerously rotten subfloor, sketchy electrical upgrades and other hazards.
Staying safe on the job takes a lot of awareness and diligence. It’s all on you, since you probably work alone. But that also means you can create your own safety program, and it can be as comprehensive as you like.
Here are a few ways that you can take safety into your own hands:
Design a Safety Strategy
Awareness is only part of the battle. You need a safety strategy to keep yourself on track. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day work. When that happens, you might forget that the same hazards that existed last month are still possibilities in the next house that you inspect.
Your strategy doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. ASHI Reporter suggests that something as simple as putting a “Be safe” sticker on your tools or a auto-generated email to yourself periodically could be enough of a reminder to keep you aware of the risks around you.
Have a Safety Meeting
If you’ve worked on a construction crew, you’re aware of the regular safety meeting. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes beside the foreman’s truck in the morning, and sometimes it’s a more formal meeting in the office once a week. But even though most inspectors are sole proprietors, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own safety meeting.
Take it upon yourself to look into different safety issues that affect home inspectors. Maybe one week, you’ll learn more about asbestos. And then maybe the next, you’ll discover things you never knew about working safely around electricity. You don’t need a crew to devote regular time to safety education and reminders.
Don’t Skimp on Protection
ASHI Reporter also stresses that you shouldn’t skimp where your safety is concerned. Certain tools and equipment can help you stay much safer on the job, and buying the cheaper versions doesn’t offer you much benefit.
Some of the recommended equipment includes a full-face respirator, voltage tester, complete first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, well-made ladder and a good cell phone. You’ll have other equipment and devices that make sense for the homes that you inspect and the way that you work. The most important think is to remember that all of it is an investment in your health and protection.
Get First-Aid Training
You’re a lone wolf, so if something goes wrong you need to know how to handle it. A first-aid course can help you avoid dangers, recognize risks, and understand how to help yourself if you’re ever on the wrong end of something sharp, poisonous or angry.
ASHI Reporter also recommends adding technical safety to your first-aid memory banks. The more that you know about the hazards of systems in the homes you inspect, the better you can avoid their related risks. For example, if you learn more about electrical systems, you can guard against accidental shocks in places where you’d otherwise never expect them to happen.
Home inspector safety ranks higher than everything else on your to-do list. It’s more important than accessing an electrical panel, crawlspace, roof, or anything that you’d ordinarily inspect.
Because you work alone, you’re the only one who can ensure your wellbeing. But the upside is that you’re in charge of how comprehensive your plan is. That means you can design one that keeps you safe to work another day.
ICA School has the home inspection courses that you need to start your own business. You’ll learn about home systems and how to inspect them, and you’ll also get business information and advice. Get a free course demo today and learn more about how our inspector training works.