Recognize Safety Hazards During Lawn Work
--Milton Canadian Champion, May 22, 2014 - www.InsideHalton.com
Attention, all green thumbs – and the bodies attached to them: It’s time to get down and dirty in the garden.
Whether you’re transforming your backyard into an award winner, or just trimming the lawn, the CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, asks that you remember the following safety tips:
• Always ensure that products such as electric lawnmowers, barbecues, power tools, ladders, decorative lights, extension cords and safety apparel, carry the mark of a recognized certification organization such as CSA Group.
• Read the manufacturer’s operating instructions and use products only as intended.
• Wear protective eye and footwear (on eyes and feet, respectively).
• What’s that you say? Wear hearing protection when operating loud machinery, vehicles or tools.
• Know your mower and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Look for these safety features: a rear guard to protect your hands and feet from rotating blades; a “deadman” control that stops the mower when you release the handle; and an “up-stop” feature to prevent the handle from kicking up when the mower hits an obstacle.
• Clear the lawn of sticks, stones, wire, toys and other objects (including that screwdriver you lost in the grass last summer) as they could get caught in the machine or flung by the blades.
• Wear clothing that provides some protection, including long pants, a shirt with sleeves and firmly-tied shoes with non-slip soles and hard toes.
• Never cut the grass when it’s damp or wet, or when there is rain or lightning. Wet conditions greatly increase the risk that you will slip, suffer electric shock or clog the mower.
• Always mow in daylight, never at twilight, or in the dark. Keep your eyes on the lawn and look ahead (at least one metre) for debris.
• Shut off, unplug and engage your mower’s safety devices before removing clogged grass clippings.
• Shut off the mower immediately if you hit an object. Check for damage and do not restart unless you’re sure it’s absolutely safe to do so.
• As suggested by its name, always push a push mower – never pull.
• All extension cords should be untangled, in good repair, have a three-prong plug rated for outdoor use and be of the recommended gauge for the load. For more information on CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org. (NC)