16 Jun Landscaper Safety
Landscapers work outdoors to maintain and beautify the scenery. Their work involves tasks that could prove hazardous: electric and gas power tools, ladders, mowers, noise, sun, and weather exposure. It is prudent for landscapers to cultivate safety while they plant and prune the pansies.
Landscapers use powered equipment such as trimmers, mowers, and chain saws to trim and prune grass and plants. Inspect these tools each time you use them to ensure that they are in proper working order. When using flammable fuels, ensure that the storage containers are approved for flammable liquids. Practice safe handling by limiting container sizes to 5 gallons, do not transport fuels in multiple passenger vehicles, and never smoke while you are fueling. Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) cords or outlets to minimize the risk of shock from electric equipment.
Use caution around pesticides and chemicals; read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and follow the manufacturer’s use guidelines. A chemical resistant suit and gloves protect your skin and clothing from exposure. Practice good hygiene by hand washing and changing out of contaminated clothing before you leave work. Wash contaminated clothing separately from the rest of your laundry. Never eat or drink while working with these chemicals.
Dress the part. Wear close-fitting layers of clothing to protect yourself from the weather and also from entanglement in machinery. Long sleeves, long pants, and light colors protect you from the sun, insects, and plant irritants and allergens. Sunscreen, a hat, and fluids protect you from sunburn and heat stress. Wear non-slip, sturdy work boots with reinforced toes to protect your feet and sturdy work gloves to protect your hands.
Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for your job task. Safety glasses should be used to protect your eyes from flying debris; wear goggles when working with chemicals. Hearing protection like earplugs and/or ear muffs protects your hearing around loud equipment. A respirator or dust mask protects your respiratory system from irritating chemical fumes and dust. Gauntlets and chaps can protect the arms and legs when working with thorny vegetation or chain saws.
Use safe work techniques. Practice ladder safety when you have to work at heights. Always inspect your ladder before use and properly position it to easily and comfortably complete the job task without reaching or twisting. Remain aware of electrical lines that may be near your work zone. Maintain neutral postures while you work. To prevent ergonomic injuries avoid extreme reaches and awkward movements. Learn and practice safe lifting techniques to avoid a back strain or injury. Use ergonomic tools and lifting/moving devices whenever possible.
Follow these guidelines and watch your safety bloom.