Wake Forest, NC— The weather is warming up, and you may be anxious to breathe some life back into your yard after a winter away. After all, April showers really do bring May flowers. Follow these tips to stay safe while doing yard work:
Before You Start
– Wear the appropriate clothing, including long pants and sleeves to protect your legs and arms. You should also wear closed toe shoes. If you are lifting a lot of heavy materials, you may want to wear steel toe shoes. Wearing gloves can prevent blisters and safety glasses can prevent debris from getting in your eyes.
– Bug repellent and sunscreen can keep you from feeling the sting in the morning.
– If you’re doing strenuous work, consider stretching your muscles for a few minutes before starting.
– When using a ladder, be sure it is firmly on the ground and someone is holding it from the bottom. You should also watch out for overhead power lines when using a ladder. Stay 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
– Before digging, make sure you call 811 to find out if there are utility lines buried where you plan to dig. It will keep you safe and save money and time. Call before you dig.
– Yard work such as raking leaves can cause muscle soreness from the repetitive motion. Changing your position will help prevent stiffness and muscle fatigue.
– When lifting heavy objects, lift with your legs (bending at your knees), not your back to prevent injury.
– When pulling weeds, be careful of what you are pulling. It’s important to be familiar with the types of weeds you are pulling so that you can avoid things like poison ivy.
– When picking up objects from the ground or dark areas, be mindful of where you are putting your hands. Critters like snakes and black widow spiders sometimes hide and don’t like being disturbed.
– Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Mowing and Machinery
– Before mowing the lawn, be sure you have removed rocks, sticks and other objects that can sling up and hurt someone.
– Never stick your hands or feet under the lawn mower to clear it. The blades under the mower could still be spinning, which could cause serious injury.
– Be careful putting gas in machinery. Always turn the equipment off and let it cool before filling it up with gas.
– Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before operating tools or machinery. If you have to step away from machinery, be sure to turn it off.
– If you are operating loud equipment, be sure to wear ear plugs.
It might seem like an extra step, but heeding safety precautions is well worth the time invested.