You use a lot of different tools and equipment for landscaping work. But these tools can be dangerous if they’re not used properly. It’s extremely important to make sure to take every safety precaution to avoid injuries when using landscaping equipment, whether you’re just starting out in the landscaping world or you’re a seasoned pro.
Landscaping injuries are, unfortunately, not uncommon. Cuts and even amputations can happen from fast-moving lawn mower blades. Mowers can throw objects and send them flying, which can lead to broken bones and bruises if they hit someone. The equipment can heat up, too, causing burns. And if the cords of electric tools are frayed or damaged in some way the user can get a nasty shock. Then there are back strains from lifting heavy loads and trips, slips, and falls.
As you can see, there are lots of hazards associated with landscaping work. To help keep you safe on the job, we’ve put together some tips for using small landscaping equipment.
1. Don’t skip the manual.
Yes, it might be tempting to forego the teeny-tiny print in the user manual of the various tools that you use and just figure it out, but it’s important that you read the instructions for safe use. Don’t breeze over the manual. That includes the labels on the back of any pesticides you’re using.
2. Don’t use equipment that you haven’t been trained to use.
Make sure that you’ve received appropriate training and that you feel comfortable with the tool before using it. Ask questions if you have any.
3. Don’t mess with the safety guards.
Before powering up the tool or piece of equipment, make sure that all of the safety guards are in place. Don’t alter them or remove them. They’re there for a reason, and that’s to keep you safe while you work.
4. Dress properly.
Wear your personal protective equipment (PPE.) That could mean ear protection, eye protection, gloves, or whatever other safety gear is required for the job at hand. Don’t take chances with your safety.
Also, don’t wear loose-fitting clothing or clothing with raggedy or dangling edges. These could get caught in the tool that you’re using and cause an injury.
5. Don’t leaf-blow at people.
If someone happens to stroll by while you’re using a leaf blower, stop using the leaf blower and wait for them to pass. Make sure that you aim the blower away from cars and houses. You don’t want to accidentally hurt someone by blowing debris at them, and you don’t want to damage a client’s property. It would be a bit awkward to have to explain a cracked car window.
6. Don’t use equipment when it’s dark.
It’s harder to see and judge distances when it’s dark outside. Make sure the lighting is good before starting work so that you can see what you’re doing.
7. Turn off the equipment when you’re not using it.
You don’t want a rogue leaf blower, lawn mower, or chain saw to take off on its own. If you’re not using it, go ahead and turn it off so that it’s safe to handle it.
8. Be careful when you’re trimming hedges.
If you’re using a hedge trimmer, keep your hands firmly on the handles. Don’t reach into the tree or bush that you’re trimming until you’ve completely shut off the trimmer. You don’t want to chance getting your fingers or hand too close to the blade.
9. Mind your hands and feet when you’re using a lawn mower.
Make sure to keep your hands and feet clear of the mower’s chute and blades when you’re mowing a lawn. You don’t want to get one of your limbs caught in the blades.
10. Check your chain saw.
If you have to use a chain saw, make sure that the chain brake works and that the tension in the chain is correct. Chain saws are, obviously, very dangerous, so it’s important that you take some extra care when you’re using them.
If you work in landscaping, you need to make sure that you stay safe when you’re using the equipment and tools required to get the job done. Don’t mess around with landscaping equipment and be careful as you work. Don’t rush and get overly hasty. Make sure that you get the proper training so that you can stay safe on the job.
If you need a quote on your landscaping or lawn care business insurance, we can help! We’d be happy to go over your insurance needs and get you a free quote for your insurance. We’ll help you design a customized insurance plan with your business in mind. All you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.