Protecting yourself while working in your garden
Whether you are working at home on a small landscape project or working for a company and taking on major projects the thing to always keep in mind is safety first. The goal of any landscape project is to complete the job but being safe at the same time.
Unfortunately, many accidents within the field of landscape and gardening happen every year, simply because individuals don’t take safety measures very seriously. I have seen many persons over the years having to take a trip to the doctor’s office because of not wearing safety gear.
There is a lot that can be said on this subject, but we will be looking at some general information that pertains to protecting yourself while carrying out your duties.
This means Personal Protective Equipment:
- Face- Safety shields
- Hearing- Earplug, Muffs
- Eye- Glasses, Safety Goggles
- Head-Hard hat
- Arms, Hands – Gloves
- Feet- Boots, safety shoes
- Lungs- Respirator
- Chaps- Thighs, legs
- First aid kit
Equipment used explained in more detail
1. Safety shields protect your face when using a chainsaw and string trimmers from flying debris. So it is important to wear this safety gear to protect your nose, eyes forehead, and face in general.
2. Earmuffs and plugs are a must when using loud equipment like a chainsaw, string trimmers, lawnmowers, ride-on mowers, etc… Continual exposure to this type of noise can lead to hearing problems and if not addressed in the proper way can lead to hearing loss. Using safety equipment can reduce noise.
3. Glasses and safety goggles are a must when using string trimmers, chainsaws, and pole saws. Our eyes are very delicate and we must do all we can to protect them when using safety equipment. Eye equipment should be clean at all times. Clean with a soap solution and discontinue the use of equipment that is damaged and scratched.
4. A hard hat is to be worn when using pole saws to cut overhead branches, removing coconuts from trees, etc… In short any landscape work that involves where your work requires you to reach overhead, a hard hat should be worn. Before using inspect to make sure the hat is in good condition.
Look for cracks, dents, and other physical damage. Don’t use if upon inspection you notice any of these signs,
5. Wear hard gloves to protect your hands from injury when using the pole saw, chainsaw, pruning saws, or hand pruners. Gloves should be only worn by you and not shared with other persons. Vinyl gloves should be used to protect your hands when handling chemicals such as insecticides and fertilizers. Make sure that gloves are in good repair before using them. For example, gloves have no holes and are in good repair.
6. Boots and safety shoes are so important, we must ensure at all times that our feet and toes are well protected. It should be steel toe and have good traction for slippery surfaces. Boots or safety shoes should be in good condition
7. A respirator is of great value when mixing and applying pesticides and other chemicals along with fertilizers. Make sure that the respirator is working properly. Clean after every use with soap and water, don’t share respirator with other persons.
8. Chaps are very important when using chainsaws at ground level, to protect the thighs and legs, The material of chaps are made to cause the chainsaw blade to jam if it comes in contact with the thighs and legs.
9. First aid kit is a must because you never know when you will need it. A first aid kit contains the basics that you need in case of stings, minor cuts, bruises, etc…
Landscape and gardening is a wonderful field that can bring lots of joy and satisfaction, but even as rewarding as this field might be we must always make sure that while working in we are safe at all times by following proper safety practices.