Safety Tips for Yard Work


Photo by Gary Barnes from Pexels

In the spring and summer months, you will often observe people working on their yards after a hard winter has made way for a warm and sunny season. This type of weather is ideal for doing any chores or yard work that you may have been putting off the past couple of months.

However, you might be surprised to know that every year, there are many injuries reported when doing yard work. In a few tragic cases, some individuals have even lost their lives while tending to their yard chores.

If you want to avoid such a catastrophe while carrying out your own yard work duties, you need to be aware of some essential safety tips. Following these tips and guidelines can greatly reduce the chances of any unfortunate incidents occurring.

Tips for Working on your Yard Safely

  • When working with power tools, always utilize personal protective equipment such as utility boots, leather work gloves, protective goggles, and ear pieces.
  • The excessive noise generated by power garden machinery will eventually result in irreversible hearing damage and the failure to hear alarm noises.
  • Gloves can be used for power tools only as specifically suggested by the supplier’s guidelines.
  • Gloves can be dangerous when used with certain hand tools, especially those with rotating components.
  • You can activate muscles that you do not use on a frequent basis when working in the yard. Get your body pumped up for a couple minutes before grabbing the tools to begin working.
  • Aim to switch activities after 30 minutes or so when working to prevent developing a repeated usage injury.
  • Lift using the power of your hips and knees, not your back, while lifting something. If you’re transporting stuff, use a carriage or wheelbarrow to prevent overworking your back.
  • When the weather is hot, it’s possible to get dehydrated. Consume more than enough water prior to and after yard work.
  • If you begin to feel dizzy and nauseous, you can replenish by drinking water in the shade.
  • Apply sunscreen even if it’s not sunny outside.  UV rays pass through clouds in the same way they do when it becomes sunny, which is why sunscreen is important when spending extended time outside.
  • Additionally, wearing a hat with a broad brim will help cover the face and neck.
  • When doing yard maintenance, it is useful to understand how to operate power tools and machinery securely. By correctly handling and utilizing these things, you will prevent injuries.
  • Before using any machinery equipment, read, comprehend, and adhere to the recommended procedure.  Machinery should be used solely for the reason for which it was designed.
  • Prior to use, inspect machinery to ensure that it is in working condition and that the required protection guards are in position.
  • Before turning on any electric tools, clear the lawn of bricks, stones, items, and tools.
  • When connecting any electrical devices, ensure that the control switch is switched off.
  • Don’t ever handle heavy machinery if the cables are worn down.
  • Maintain a safe distance between children and the yard area and never encourage them to control or operate a lawnmower.
  • In damp weather, never mow or operate electrical appliances. On a hill or in damp turf, a lawnmower can give you serious problems
  • Never use power tools in damp environments, as electrical discharge is a possibility.
  • If a control lawnmower’s blades get blocked up, switch the unit off or disconnect it before removing it.

Now that you know a little bit more about the basic tips you need to follow for yard safety, it’s time to move on to the specific tools and devices you will be using when doing yard work.

These include lawn mowers, trimmers and cutters, and chainsaws to name a few. Here’s how to ensure you keep safe when using these tools as well.

One of the most essential parts of yard work is mowing your lawn, and so knowing how to use a lawn mower safely should be top of your priority list! Here’s what you need to know.

How to Use Lawn Mowers Safety

There is always a risk when operating a lawn mower, particularly when the motor is capable of spinning a sharp blade at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour. The blade is capable of projecting any item lying on the floor up to 100 feet.

However, a lawn mower’s blade may trigger accidents even though the engine is not running. Numerous individuals who sustain injuries slice themselves, more often on their fingertips or palms, either replacing or polishing the lawn mower blade or cutting anything trapped in it.

When using a walk-behind or driving mower, the accidents can be significantly quite severe. When anyone falls beneath the mower, the strong, rotating blades will cut through any part of the body it comes in contact with.

The most perilous situation involves driving a mower through rough ground. The majority of deaths happened when a driving mower overturned, for example, down a slope, trapping the rider.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a less frequent but equally lethal factor. A mower operating for an hour will generate the same amount of emissions as a couple of vehicles. Carbon monoxide can build up in a confined area while a vehicle with a fuel-burning engine is operating.

When you start your mower, walk-behind or driving, inspect your yard for something that might become a target. This involves misplaced items or athletic equipment, as well as broken trees.

And, even if the weather is warm, forego the casual attire in favor of comfortable closed-toe boots with decent grip and lengthy trousers to cover your thighs. Keep small kids and animals away from the lawn as you mow, but never allow a kid to ride on your lap while operating a driving mower or vehicle.

When mowing, please take special care when mowing on a slope and listen to the vehicle’s instructions for the steepest slope you can mow. If you’re operating a driving mower, push it vertically and horizontally on hills to stop the machine rolling over and locking you beneath it.

For a walk-behind mower, the situation is reversed. Mow adjacent to the hill, rather than upwards and downwards, so it’s simpler to handle the mower while you’re not battling to maneuver it up a steep slope.

If a misplaced branch falls in the path while you’re operating a walk-behind mower, avoid bending down and picking it up while the mower is going, since you risk cutting your fingertips on the blade. Be sure to release the bail lever on the mower to bring the blade to a complete halt.

Stop mowing the lawn while it is damp to avoid falling. Additionally, you cannot achieve a decent cut with damp turf. Always carry leather working gloves while inspecting or replacing the mower’s blades to prevent being sliced.

Be sure to only fix the mower while the motor has not been used for some time and the mower is switched off. Always add petrol while you are outside, not in a driveway or barn. Additionally, ensure that the motor is turned off and has settled.

A lawn mower is an excellent tool to keep your yard looking presentable, but you can also use other tools such as trimmers or cutter to really set your garden apart from the rest.

But you need to know how to use them safely, so that you can avoid injuries when carrying out your yard work. Read on to learn more.

How to Use Trimming and Cutting Tools Safely

When it comes to tidying up the yard’s borders, a string trimmer is the right approach for the task. However, due to the string trimmer’s rapid movement it can quickly slice through the flesh or send fragments soaring, injuring you or anyone nearby.

It’s unsurprising, then, that these and other power clippers trigger a disproportionate number of garden work accidents. While string trimmers and clippers often result in cuts and bruises, power clippers have resulted in permanent damage to fingers.

While string trimmers come equipped with a protection to block wood splinters, you should also wear gloves, eye protection, boots, and long trousers. Many gasoline models and certain electronic models can be quite noisy, necessitating the use of ear protectors. Take the same care that you will when utilizing any types of power clippers.

Always inspect the region you want to reduce for any small objects, such as gadgets, stones, or fallen branches that may be churned up by the trimmer and cause injury to you or anyone. Additionally, keep infants, wildlife, and other spectators at least 50 feet away from your work space. If a passerby approaches, switch off the trimmer.

Never operate a gas trimmer in an enclosed space such as a barn, as carbon monoxide gas may build up and be deadly. When starting a gas trimmer with a pull rope, ensure that the trimmer is safe on firm ground to protect both the trimmer and yourself.

When you’re utilizing a corded electric string trimmer, hold the cord out of the way so you don’t slip and lose track of the trimmer. Additionally, take note not to sever the electricity strip with the trimmer.

Always use a string trimmer while stood on the ground to avoid losing your equilibrium. And, for the same purpose, hold the cutting head under your waist. Always chip away from your body in order to prevent getting struck by the plants or bushes you are removing.

As you’ll soon find out, yard work can get messy and it’s always good to have an alternative in the form of pressure washers when conventional tools won’t cut it. Here’s how you can use them safely in your yard.

How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely

A pressure washer tends to focus liquid into a torrent with many times greater than the intensity of flow from a hose pipe, enabling it to blast through almost every surface.

With all that pressure, you can quickly carve a wide line in a wood table, so you should definitely avoid exposing your fingers or other body parts to this pressure.  Arm and hand injuries are the most frequent form of injuries, accompanied by bruises and strains.

Numerous individuals are often killed as they slip off a ladder while cleaning the rooftop or storm drains with a pressure washer. Apart from not using a gas-powered pressure washer inside, the most critical protection recommendation is to stop using zero degree nozzles.

Wear your safety equipment until beginning the power-washing process. Safety glasses, long trousers, and durable boots will all help to keep you secure. Avoid using a pressure washer when stood on a ladder, since pulling the lever can result in rebound, which may knock you off position.

Keeps an eye on the environment to prevent accidentally aiming the nozzle at yourself, other individuals, or pets. Exercise caution while working on damp surfaces, which will easily become slippery, causing you to fall and lose track of the pressure washer.

If your nozzle has adjustable shower tips, switch it off before changing them to avoid being sprayed by a strong jet of water. When adjusting tips, switch off the motor and click the button to remove additional liquid from the handle.

It’s all well and good to use pressure washers and traditional cutting instruments in your yard work, but let’s face it. The tool you really want to use most of all is the chainsaw!

However, you need to adhere to these yard safety tips so you don’t end the day in the emergency room. Here’s what you need to know!

How to Use Chainsaws Safely

If you’re not careful, you might quickly injure yourself when chopping unruly fallen trees with the strong motorized blades of a chainsaw. Indeed, the majority of severe chain saw accidents are lacerations, most often to the limbs.

Amputations of the fingers blame for a limited proportion of patient procedures.  Thankfully, chain saw related fatalities remain uncommon. Protective equipment is critical when it comes to securely using chain saws.

Carry close-fitting clothes and durable work boots, ideally steel-toed, to prevent being stabbed. Arm yourself with pants that are reinforced to withstand cuts, waterproof gloves, and a head gear with a face mask to cover all key areas of your body.  Try wearing hearing plugs, since saws normally produce noise levels greater than is healthy for a human year, which may inflict hearing loss.

Prior to actually starting the saw, ensure that all of the components are in good working condition. Maintain a well maintained, tensioned, and greased cutting chain. A well kept blade guarantees a cleaner cut and can assist in preventing kickback.

When operating the saw, ensure that both you and the device are on firm footing and that you have a good hold on the saw when pulling it. The majority of handles have a place to secure the machine with one foot when drawing the starter string.

Try to prevent cutting with the chain and bar’s edge, since this often results in kickback. Saw only tree branches that are easily accessible from the land. Never cut from a ladder or with the saw kept over your shoulders, since this would quickly knock you off center.

If you’re removing fallen branches after a hurricane, consider any collapsed power cables as active and wait for permission from the service crew to continue. When the job is complete, switch off the cutting machine and secure yourself by storing it in a carrying case.

Determine that the motor has come to a complete stop and that the muffler has cooled. Tuck away the device in the rear or loading area of a car or truck for transportation.

When you’re carrying out your yard work using power tools you need a generator that can handle the load of these machines effectively. However, if you’re not careful then your generator can also pose safety problems. Here’s how to avoid them and maintain a safe yard!

How to Use a Generator Safely

When the electric power cuts out during a hurricane, a small generator provides fuel, but it also emits lethal carbon monoxide, the leading cause of generator-related fatalities. CO at significant amounts will destroy in seconds or leave patients with permanent wounds such as head trauma.

You may even wind up in the emergency room for causes unrelated to CO poisoning. You risk receiving an electrocution if you insert an extended cord into the unit if water has accumulated inside, or you risk receiving injuries if you attempt to refill a generator until it has properly settled.

Easy care should be taken to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t use a generator indoors, or in any enclosed space. Maintain a minimum of 20 foot between your generator and the building, and direct the motor fumes away from doors and windows.

The angle in which the exhaust is directed is a significant factor in the accumulation of carbon monoxide, much more so than space or atmospheric conditions or position. Keep the generator secure to prevent static sparks and fires while connecting an electric cable.

Shelters built for generators hold them dry and with enough room for the fumes to pass, preventing harmful amounts of carbon monoxide from accumulating. Consider having a technician mount a toggle function between the generator and your control panel.

This would enable you to control hardwired devices and mechanical components, such as your heating system, without the possibility of using power cables. If you omit it, you risk endangering utility staff, frying machines, and damaging the generator itself.

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