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Tuesday, 25 April, 2000, 04:51 GMT 05:51 UK
DIY minister injures finger
Kim Howells
Kim Howells: Sees the funny side of situation
A government minister who launched a campaign to halt DIY accidents at Easter is reported to have given himself a DIY injury.

Dr Kim Howells warned householders just before the holiday break to beware of spending the weekend in casualty departments.

He said many people were being lured into over-ambitious DIY projects by television make-over programmes, which made tasks look easier than they were.

Now he is nursing a damaged finger - and his pride - after an accident while he was building a rockery in his garden over Easter, says the Mirror.



Some people might think this is embarrasssing for me, but I just hope people learn from my mistake

Dr Kim Howells
"There was a piece of concrete sticking out as I was dismantling an old wall," Dr Howells is quoted as saying.

"I got a piece of wood to whack it free instead of fetching a suitable tool.

"Unfortunately I missed and smashed my finger."

Dr Howells, who is consumer affairs minister, is then said to have pierced his finger nail with a heated drill bit, to let the blood escape.

"It was an old trick I learned off brickies, but I wouldn't recommend it," Dr Howells reportedly told the paper.

Prophetic

And he says he can see the funny side of the situation.

"Some people might think this is embarrasssing for me, but I just hope people learn from my mistake," he tells the paper.

Last week, as he launched the safety campaign, Dr Howells issued a prophetic warning that it was not just ambitious projects which could end in disaster.


Handy Andy
Handy Andy: Doing it the expert way
"Even with a simple job such as putting a screw in, people are always puncturing themselves with screwdrivers," he said.

Two million leaflets were produced by the government as part of the campaign, which were given out at DIY stores over the holiday period.

Government figures show that 70 people are killed and a quarter of a million injured each year in DIY accidents.

The figures are rising each year, and Dr Howells said he believed television programmes like Changing Rooms were partly responsible.

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See also:

21 Apr 00 | UK Politics
DIY disasters 'blamed' on TV stars
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