When you think of landscaping, you might think of planting a few flowers. Maybe digging a hole. But you probably don’t think of a serious threat to your health.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 230,000 people per year are treated for various injuries resulting from landscaping activities.
If you don’t want to be one of those 230,000, you better be careful! To stay safe while working on your yard, follow these 6 tips:
Understand your equipment
Of course, you know how to handle garden clippers or a shovel. But when using new tools, especially electric ones, DO read the manual first. I know, I know. I like to just figure out stuff on my own, too. I like to assemble a cupboard without the manual. But using a motor saw without understanding how it works? You can seriously hurt yourself. Lost fingers and lacerations are high on the list of injuries by landscaping!
So take the time and go through the manual, read at least the safety section, and be careful when you start using new equipment.
Wear appropriate protective gear
Another thing no one likes. But at least proper, quality gloves should not be ignored when working with sharp tools. Safety glasses and a hard hat may also be necessary to keep you safe. When using motor saws or other loud equipment, ear protection is also a good idea.
Yes, protective gear is not cool. But guess what? Being blind or losing fingers is even worse.
Watch your surroundings
Even if you take care of yourself, you could still hurt others. Kids and pets are often involved in accidents during landscaping. Keep them far away if possible, and explain the dangers to your kids. With pets, keep them out of the yard, to prevent accidents. And while it may sound like a good idea to let your kids do some of the garden work, make sure they really understand the equipment and can handle it. Children are often even more prone to ignoring danger than adults are, especially if they don’t know about it.
Get approval before digging
This may sound like tedious bureaucracy, but if you accidentally damage pipes or wiring, you and your property may sustain serious damage. Check with your utility companies first!
Turn it off, first
A classic mistake with all things electric. Don’t change or try to fix anything while the machine is running. You don’t play around with a running motor saw. That can’t end well. When possible, unplug the equipment so you can’t accidentally turn it on. Also, don’t leave plugged-in stuff standing or lying around while there are kids around. Many tools have special safety precautions you can put on to prevent accidents.
Don’t play with chemicals
“Can’t be that bad” is a bad idea when handling chemicals. Especially in your eyes, they might inflict serious damage. When using pesticides or fertilizers, take extra care. Don’t use them on very windy or rainy days, or you don’t know where it will end up. After using them, keep clear of the area for an appropriate amount of time. The instruction manual is your friend, once again!