Most of us don’t think of yard work as a particularly hazardous activity, but around 100 people die each year from doing yard work, and another estimated 143,000 people suffer injuries or illness severe enough to require a trip to the emergency room.
Power equipment, like lawnmowers and weedwhackers, can cause everything from a minor cut that could get infected to an amputation. Using a ladder, especially for those who haven’t done ladder safety training at their jobs, can lead to serious falls resulting in broken bones, paralysis, and even death. It’s easy to lose track of time outside and forget to hydrate and take breaks, which can lead to heat illness and dehydration. Emissions from gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning when used is spaces without adequate ventilation. And it’s possible to get caught under large equipment like a riding mower, especially if the built-in safety features are not working properly.
Bystanders, especially children, can also get hurt as a result of yard work. Children have died by playing near or with lawn maintenance equipment such as mowers.
As your insurance agent, we urge you to read and follow the following safety prevention tips to keep you, friends, and family safe when working outdoors:
- Keep children away from your lawn mower and other powered equipment like weedwhackers and leaf blowers. Don’t let them play in the yard while you’re mowing.
- Wear proper personal protective equipment, like safety goggles, closed-toe shoes, a hat, and gloves. Use hearing protection when using loud machinery.
- Wear gloves and long sleeves and pants to reduce your chances of coming into contact with irritants like poison ivy, oil or gas from power equipment, or other chemicals.
- Apply insect repellent spray to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn. However, also make sure your clothing is light enough that you don’t overheat.
- Make sure to drink plenty of cool water and take breaks as needed to prevent heat illness.
- When using a ladder, maintain three points of contact at all times, and make sure the ladder is on a stable, even surface. Don’t use a ladder if you are alone.
- Follow all instructions and warnings associated with lawn equipment. Do not disable machine guards and other safety features on equipment.
- Inspect your lawn equipment regularly to make sure it’s in proper working order. Routine maintenance on your lawn mower now can prevent costly breakdowns and injuries later.
Power equipment safety is not just for the pros; it should be a priority for every homeowner, not matter how small your equipment may be. Keeping these tips in mind, you can maintain your beautiful yard or garden and avoid the emergency room. At Kamm Insurance Group, we can help you find the insurance you need for any size of property, so contact us today!