With warmer weather and longer days, people throughout Michigan are emerging from their winter cocoons to focus on long-neglected projects like spring cleaning, home repairs, and yard work. These activities can be extremely beneficial, but they also come with health and safety hazards that can be avoided with the proper precautions.
To help ensure everyone in our community stays safe this season, E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. offers the following tips and suggests you share/post them with your family members and co-workers.
Itching to get the yard into shape for the summer? Here are ways to help ensure your spring spruce-up is disaster-free. First tip: limber up before you start yard work. Yard chores may seem easy, but they involve muscles you probably haven’t used in a while.
Safety with mowing
More than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for lawn-mower injuries.
- Rake before you mow to prevent any stones and loose debris from launching into the air
- Never operate a mower in your bare feet and avoid wearing loose clothing
- Never start a mower indoors
- When refueling your mower, make sure the engine is off and cool
- Don’t spill gasoline on a hot engine — and don’t smoke while pouring gasoline
- Never leave your mower operational while unattended
- Don’t use electrical mowers on wet grass
Safety with power yard tools
At least 55,000 people each year sustain injuries from trimmers, lawn edgers, pruners and power saws.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using the tools
- Inspect the product for damage and don’t use it if there are problems
- Use proper eye protection
- Make sure blade guards are in place on all cutting equipment
- Don’t let tools get wet unless they are labeled “immersible”
- Unplug all tools when not in use
- Make sure the tool is in the “off” position before you plug it in
- Store gasoline-powered equipment away from anything that uses a pilot light
- Make sure you use the right saw for the task, and always wait for the saw blade to stop before pulling away from a cut to avoid kickback
- When pruning trees, be careful not to let metal ladders or trimmers contact overhead wires