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Don't get injured doing yard work

FIT Staff • Aug 27, 2014 at 3:06 PM

For a lot of people, garden work is enjoyable and not really considered “work."

It's a chance to get outside and enjoy the warm weather.  

But while you're digging, trimming and planting, don't forget about safety.

Thousands of people are injured each year using yard and garden tools and products. 

Many of these injuries could be avoided by taking some simple precautions.

Lawn mowers

·         Read the manual so you know how to operate the equipment, where the controls are and what they do. Make sure all safety equipment is intact.

·         Fill the gas tank before starting the engine. Never refuel while the mower is running or the engine is hot.

·         Check the yard for twigs, rocks and other objects before mowing. Debris thrown by mowers can cause serious injury or death.

·         Wait until the grass is dry. Wet clippings can clog the mower, jam the blade and shut down the engine. If this happens, make sure the blade has stopped before clearing grass clippings.

·         Wear sturdy shoes with soles that won't slip - never bare feet -  to cut the lawn. Wear long pants to better protect your legs.

·         Keep children out of the area when you are mowing. Never allow young children to use the mower.

·         If you're using a walk-behind mower, push it forward, don't pull it backward. On a slope, mow across, not up and down.

·         If you're using a riding mower on a slope, avoid tipping over by mowing up and down—not across—the slope.

·         Never allow passengers on a riding mower.

Weed trimmers

·         Clear sticks, stones and other debris before trimming.

·         Wear goggles to protect your eyes from thrown objects.


·         Always store pesticides in a locked cabinet or garden shed away from children. Teach children that pesticides are dangerous and should not be touched.

·         Read the label before using and follow all directions exactly.

·         Before applying pesticides, get children, pets and toys out of the area to be treated. Keep them out as long as the label directs.

·         Keep the Poison Control Center emergency phone number handy: 800-222-1222.

Get your body ready

Not all injuries are caused by power tools or poisons. Sometimes, doing an unfamiliar job or working too hard can take its toll. These tips can help you:

·         Stretch your back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists.

·         Use correct posture while you work. Alternate your body position and movements often.

·         Kneel — don't bend — when working close to the ground.

·         Avoid back strain by bending at the knees, not the waist, when picking up grass clippings or leaves.

·         Keep hydrated – the combination of a hot day and strenuous work can increase your chances of becoming dehydrated.

·         Make sure to use sun screen and reapply often.

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