A beautifully landscaped garden and yard are always a source of pride for the home owner. A lot of time and effort is needed to keep one’s yard in good shape all the time. Working in the yard is a fun activity and great exercise too. However, certain precautions must be taken to ensure that it is safe too. This is because there are plenty of opportunities for accidents to occur given the kind of tools and equipment used. Lawn mowers, drills, and blades, if not used in the appropriate manner, can lead to grievous injury.
It is estimated that about 173,000 accidents take place in yards annually. Government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor and insurance companies provide specific guidelines for landscapers to stay safe while carrying out their work. They also have mandatory requirements for landscaping firms to pass on to their employees.
Having an accident in your yard will not only cause you injury and pain, but it will also have financial implications such as hospital expenses, lost wages if your injury causes you to miss work. This is apart from the mental trauma that you will have to undergo during your illness.
Caution must be exercised when using gas and electricity in tools and machinery. When using extension cords, they must be of the right power and must be intended for outdoor use.
1.Using Tools and Equipment
While purchasing tools and other equipment, it is best to ascertain their proper usage from the seller. If buying at a hardware store, there will be qualified personnel who can show you how to operate that particular machine and what precautions are to be adopted when using it. In some instances, they will also be able to provide you a demonstration at the store itself. Reading the operating manual before using the machine will also give you an idea about the suggested do’s and don’ts. Keeping the tools in top shape with regular maintenance will also help prevent certain injuries. Also remember to never leave small tools such as shovels or rakes with their prongs facing up.
Wearing protective clothing and footwear is important where landscape work is considered. The clothing you wear should be fitted and have no loose or long pieces that might get caught in equipment such as a lawn mower. Shoes must be sturdy and give you firm grip and stability on uneven terrain. Protect your hearing with ear muffs especially when there is loud noise such as the mower or drill functioning. Eyes must be protected with workmen’s glasses so no flyaway bits of foliage or chemicals get into your eyes. Gloves will protect your hands from blisters, splinters, scratches, and cuts.
3.Plan Before You Work
It is important to check the weather conditions before you plan out your day in the yard. Doing yard work on an extremely hot day can be tiring and even lead to dehydration. Resting often is yet another way of conserving energy when engaged in strenuous yard work. Stay in the shade as much as possible to avoid sunstroke or other such conditions.
Insecticides and pesticides are an essential fixture in every gardening shed. These contain high levels of toxic chemicals and must be stored on high shelves or inside locked cabinets. This will help reduce the chances of accidentally tipping over the containers which can cause them to come into contact with your skin. Even inhaling the fumes from these chemicals can be detrimental to your health. Hands must be washed with soap and water after handling pesticides or insecticides.
5.Using Gas and Electricity
Caution must be exercised when using gas and electricity in tools and machinery. When using extension cords, they must be of the right power and must be intended for outdoor use. Electrical equipment should not be used in wet areas or during the rain. If you have any machinery that operates on gas, the gas must be stored in safe, suitable containers at all times. Gas should not be filled when the equipment is hot.
Keeping these few, simple precautions in mind when working in the yard will help minimize the number of accidents that you might have. Checking out the appropriate resources and websites will help you land or obtain an idea of how to plan a safe day out in the yard.