I recently blogged about American workers who are injured by lawn mowers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 230,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 1992 for injuries associated with lawn and garden tools. As the summer months are in full swing, those of us who do not outsource the maintenance of our yards should keep in mind several important safety tips:
- Warm up before doing yard work. Talk a walk and stretch to prepare your body for bending, lifting, and other strenuous tasks that yard work requires.
- Gear up: wearing protective clothing can prevent scratches, cuts, and sunburn. Be sure to avoid baggy clothes that could get caught in motorized lawn equipment. Wear proper shoes and eye protection if necessary.
- Avoid bending over if possible; try kneeling if you are gardening on the ground.
- Lift heavy loads properly with your legs without reaching at awkward angles.
- Read all instructions when working with dangerous tools or motorized equipment.
- Keep children away from lawn equipment, power tools, and other sharp tools.
- Inspect power cords and protect against electric shock with a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- Do not consume alcohol or other controlled substances or medicines that may impair judgment or reaction time.
- Take a break! When you get tired, make sure you rest. If you have been working for a long time, stop and finish another day.
Many of these tips have been compiled from the following websites: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080709/LIFE02/807090302/1082/LIFE02 ; http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml93/93070.html ; http://www.ohsonline.com/articles/62552/