The home is where we spend much of our lives so it’s little surprise the number of accidents there. As time and money becomes tighter there is sometimes the pressure to save and take shortcuts when working in the yard and around the home. Safety in the home is important but many people do not extend that to the yard. Working in the yard can be a source of many accidents and it’s important to stay safe in the yard.
After a long winter people are eager to get in the yard to work. We want to be the first with flowers blooming or the first to have a tomato picked from the vine. In the eagerness to get into the yard the thought to stay safe is sometimes pushed to the background. This can be a dangerous thing, sometimes fatally so.
All power equipment should be properly maintained. Not only will this help you stay safe in the yard but it also extends the life of your equipment. From the weed eater to the mower make sure that it is in good working order. Clear the yard of sticks, rocks and debris before you mow. Use eye and hearing protection and resist the temptation to crawl on the mower, put the headphones on and crank up the tunes. Not only can you not hear a warning or distress call but you also won’t hear if the motor begins running badly, creating a major repair bill. Keep children and pets out of the work area so that they stay safe also. Don’t leave tools, especially power tools, where they can get to them.
Another big safety point is dressing appropriately. Shorts, flip flops and minimal clothing are not the way to stay safe from flying debris. Use good shoes or boots, long pants and close fitting clothing that breathes well for yard work. It may be slightly cooler to climb on the mower with shorts but it’s better to alter the time of mowing earlier or later in the day when you can dress safely for the job.
Often times working in the yard means running a power cord for a project. Always use a proper grounded outlet and protect the cord from being run over or damaged. Accidents can happen but a big way to stay safe is to be aware. Know what is going on around you. Use extra caution when using overhead trimmers and pole saws not only to keep the branch from falling on you but also to avoid connection with any overhead lines. Sadly this results in fatalities every year.
Another yard chore than can turn from routine to dangerous is cleaning the gutters or other repairs using a ladder. Yes ladders are expensive but invest in a good quality ladder and use it safely. Always have it on solid ground when working off the ground and do not lean too far over to change the the balance, resulting in a fall. A good ladder might cost you $30-40 more but even if it’s three times that it is cheaper than a trip to the emergency room!
Stay safe also when working around the pool. While some hire pool maintenance to be done others see doing it as part of owning a pool, but work carefully and safely. Don’t allow children or adults to run near the pool. Have the area fenced off from the yard to prevent pets and children from getting in and have a ramp at one end that they are trained to go to if they do get in the pool. This can be a lifesaver.
There are many ways to stay safe throughout the year. Be a safety bug around the yard as well as around the home. Safety is not a game but it can save injury and save a life.