Maintaining one’s lawn and landscape is a pleasurable pastime for many people who take pride in their yards and enjoy the never ending hard work it takes to keep them looking perfectly groomed. Everyone knows that some of the tools we use in the landscaping process can be dangerous yet every year, thousands of people are injured doing one of the things they truly enjoy. It’s common sense that we need to careful around lawnmowers, weed wackers, sharp pruning scissors, and other motorized equipment, but there are other dangers associated with yard work that aren’t so obvious. The chemicals we use on our lawn and garden, the heavy loads of rock and dirt we move around, uneven surfaces on our lawn or patio and even the hot sun can cause an unexpected injury.
Each year hospitals and emergency rooms see injuries due to equipment accidents, slips and falls, cuts and amputations, heat stroke and sunburns, hearing loss from loud equipment, eye injuries, back and neck injuries and swimming pool accidents. The best defense against injury when doing yard work or landscaping around your home and garden, is to use common sense and take a few simple safety precautions.
First of all, wear the proper clothing for the task you’re doing. Make sure when you’re mowing you wear boots with good soles that prevent you from slipping, and closed-toe shoes. It may be 90 degrees but flip flops are not an option when doing landscaping. Also, when using motorized equipment, make sure the kids are playing far away to avoid and rocks or yard debris from flying out from under the mower and hitting them. Of course, never try to dislodge anything from a mower blade while the motor is still running. In fact, many manufacturers suggest removing the spark plug before touching the blade to avoid any chance of injury. Power equipment can be loud. Wearing earplugs can go a long way to protect your hearing, and don’t forget protective eyewear. Before you use any power equipment, take a quick inspection and always read the manuals and follow directions and safety precautions that come with equipment and other products.
If you plan some serious landscaping and you might be moving heavy loads or digging into the ground, make sure you call your local utilities to avoid a serious and expensive mistake. Moving heavy loads can be rough on the hands and back. Wear protective gloves, wear a back brace and get help lifting if you need to. Take your time and even stretch before you do strenuous work. Your body will thank you in the morning. Keep your work area clean and don’t leave yard tools, equipment, garden hoses or building material lying around where you can trip. If your landscaping or yard work project involves using axes, hatchets or a chainsaw, make sure you know what you’re doing or ask for help from someone who does who can give you instruction. In any event, stay focused and be safe.
And finally, taking your time, drink plenty of water, protect your skin against sunburn and take rest breaks in a shady area can prevent serious sunburn or dangerous heat stroke. Listen to your body and what it’s telling you, use your equipment with caution and you’ll enjoy the rewards lawn care and landscaping offer. Call us today at 231.347.4444 or fill out the free consultation form in the sidebar to schedule your free personal consultation.