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Work Smarter and Hazardless: Making Yard Work Safe

Friday, July 14, 2017 9:13 AM

With all the rain we have been getting, there is a lot of gardening and yard work to be done. You may be surprised to learn of hidden dangers that come with our outdoor chores. From tripping hazards to flying debris, it is important to take safety precautions to avoid any accidents.

YardSafetyTips

Debjani Roy, MD, Internal Medicine at NorthShore, shares tips to ensure your safety:
Dress appropriately:

  • Wear protective gear such as sunglasses or goggles to protect against flying debris, hat and sunscreen (SPF 30 or above), gloves to protect your hands from sharp gardening tools, long pants to shield against bug bites and closed-toe footwear to prevent harm from sharp objects, such as the lawnmower.

What to do before you start yard work:

  • Stretch it out. Yard work is physically demanding. Just as you would with any other exercise, stretch and prepare your body for exertion.
  • Check your machinery and read your manuals on all your machinery and verify with manufacturers to see if any parts or tools have been recalled. Check your cords on your equipment as well as any extension cords. If there are any cracks, seal them with electrical tape and properly discard any frayed cords.
  • Walk the yard and clean up any debris that could trip you, damage or get caught in the lawnmower and propel out.
  • Keep children inside when using shears, shovels, lawnmower or have other equipment out.
  • Call before you dig! A garden is a beautiful idea, but digging into gas, water or sewer lines can be hazardous and expensive. Call your local village to have someone come out to help you avoid the mess.

While you are working:

  • Trim overgrowth on bushes and trees. This will help avoid tripping over shrubbery, walking into low-hanging branches or brushing up against overgrown bushes.
  • Stay organized by carrying tools in a bucket from one place to the next. When you are not using an item or you are done with it, put it away or in your bucket to prevent tripping while working.
  • Drink lots of water to avoid heat stroke.

How do you protect yourself against outside chore accidents?