Everyone loves finding a good shortcut, right? I mean, let's face it, there is no greater feeling than shaving off even a few seconds of our time even if it's just for a few moments.
I will be the first to admit, that I get excited when I find a quicker, easier way to do something. However, safety is one thing that shouldn't be rushed. In all honesty, most tend to do just that.
In an effort to reduce some of the guesswork, our Waynes Lawn Professionals have provided a few checks and balances they feel should always be top of mind:
Tool & Equipment Safety Tips:
Using Power Equipment
- Read the owner’s manual. Get to know your equipment and how to properly use it.
- Ensure extension cords are in good condition before using and never allow cords to run through standing water.
- Keep cords clear from power equipment while in use. If a cord must be moved away from the blade, cut the power to your equipment first and then move it out of the way.
- Only pick up or hold equipment with designated handles.
- Never drink and mow. Your safety, as well as others, could be greatly compromised.
- Never leave equipment unattended.
- Keep small children inside when using power equipment.
- Children under the age of 12 should not operate a push mower.
- Children under the age of 16 should not operate a riding lawn mower.
- Ensure the ladder base is firmly set on a level surface and do not place on other objects.
- Be sure to secure any doors or windows that open toward the ladder.
- Avoid standing on the top step of the ladder. Your balance significantly decreases the higher you go.
Personal Safety Tips:
Lifting Techniques & Posture
- Do not bend over. Instead, lift with your hips and knees.
- Hold pruning shears close to your body for extra support.
- Purchase tools that are the right size for your personal height and strength.
- Use a wheelbarrow to transfer heavier items.
- Let the tools do the work. Be aware of your movements and change your position when doing repetitive motions.
Wear Protective Gear
- Wear proper clothing like gloves, long sleeve shirts, long pants, eye-wear, ear protection, and closed-toe shoes with slip-resistant soles.
- Don’t be deceived by a cloudy day, you’re still at risk of exposure to dangerous UV rays. Apply and re-apply sunscreen as directed.
- Use an insect repellent. Check for ticks after you have finished for the day.
- Be sure to educate yourself and your children before any “hands-on” weed pulling to ensure you are able to identify toxic plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Keep an eye out for low hanging trees, uneven ground surfaces, slopes, etc…
- Don’t dig without approval. Contact your local utility companies before you dig & have them locate gas, sewer, or electrical lines.
Pace Yourself and Don’t Overdo it.
- Listen to your body.
- Rest as much as necessary.
- Take a break or change tasks every 30 minutes to prevent a repetitive-use injury. There is nothing wrong with leaving some of the work for another day.
- Stay hydrated and sit in the shade should you start to feel lightheaded.