Most home and business owners don’t consider lawn care to be a dangerous activity, but the statistics prove that it definitely can be. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSM), more than a quarter of a million people are injured annually from lawn and garden tools such as edgers, lawn mowers and trimmers. With the summer months in full swing, here are several lawn care safety tips to keep you injury-free while landscaping and gardening.
Lawn Mower Safety
Whether you have a walk-behind mower or a zero turn riding mower, there are several hazards that you’ll want to insure against. Mowers have fast-spinning blades that can cause direct injury or loosen debris in their paths. Never remove safety guards from lawn mowers or tamper with shut-off devices. Remove obstructions and obstacles in the yard before you begin mowing, and be aware of the location of such things as tree stumps and sprinkler heads. Always mow back and forth across a hill instead of up and down. Finally, wear protective clothing and follow the operator’s instructions for your particular mower.
Power Tool Safety
Electric and gas trimmers and edgers are responsible for thousands of injuries each year, many of them eye injuries. If you don’t follow any other safety tips, at least wear eye protection! Otherwise, remove debris from areas that you’ll be working on ahead of time. Again, you should wear protective clothing and pay attention to extension cords and exposed wires that could pose an electrical hazard.
Lawn Chemical Safety
If you use natural or synthetic chemicals for lawn care purposes, you’ll want to use extreme caution in both their use and storage. Chemicals are used in insecticides, fungicides and herbicides to treat plant diseases, weeds and control insects. Keep the chemicals stored in a well-ventilated area that isn’t subject to extreme temperatures. When using the chemicals, wear skin and eye protection and closely follow the instructions provided for each application.