It’s that time of year again: the birds are chirping, grass is growing, and flowers are blooming. Warm weather brings with it many opportunities to get outside and work in your yard and garden. Although these are great leisure activities, it is important to remember that these activities also bring with them certain safety hazards. In 2009, over 30 million nonfatal medically consulted injuries occurred at a person’s home. These are some staggering numbers. While not all of these injuries occurred while working outside, it is important to stay safe while working outdoors this summer. Follow these tips to make sure that you, and your family, stay safe this summer.
Wear the right clothing and safety equipment for the job.
The easiest way to stay safe is to prevent injuries before they happen. This can be done in a variety of ways.
– Wear the right clothing for the job. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and long pants when working with tools and equipment. Long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats will help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, which could lead to sunburn and skin cancer.
– Make sure you wear the right personal protective equipment, or PPE. This includes goggles or safety glasses to protect your eyes and gloves to protect your hands.
– Depending on the area you are working in, it is also a good idea to wear bug spray with DEET. This will help to keep you safe from disease carrying bugs like mosquitos and ticks.
– Use of hearing protection when using equipment is also recommended for long term auditory health. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone, then you should be using hearing protection.
Stay Safe in the Heat
Most people enjoy the summer months because they get an opportunity to be outside and enjoy the sunshine. Too much sun, however, can be a bad thing. Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized with heat related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. It is important to follow a few easy tips in order to stay safe in the summer sun.
– Limit your time outdoors in direct sunlight.
– Take frequent breaks from the direct sunlight. This can include time indoors or in the shade.
– Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with alcohol and sugars, which actually dehydrate the body.
– Be aware of heat illness symptoms, such has high body temperature, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid pulse, and confusion.
Keep your equipment in tip top shape.
Keeping your lawn and garden equipment in proper working order is paramount. Equipment that is not maintained properly could lead to decreased efficiency, shorter lifespan, and leaves the door open for potential accidents. Use these tips to make sure your equipment works as designed.
– Read the owner’s manual that comes with your piece of equipment. This document will outline the proper maintenance schedule for the machine and explain the potential hazards.
– Keep your equipment in good working order. This includes sharpening blades and lubricating moving parts.
– Use your equipment only for its intended use. Using a piece of equipment incorrectly can lead to injuries and accidents.
– Before using your piece of equipment, do a visual inspection to make sure everything is working properly. Fluid leaks and loose parts are signs that your device is not working as intended. These issues should be remedied prior to using the machine.
Next time you are working outside, make sure to take a few minutes to focus on safety. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have any questions on summer gardening safety, give us a call at (317) 575-1100, or fill out the form below.