National Earth Day Gardening Safety Tips

image001

Be Healthy and Safe in the Garden

 image004

Stay safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of gardening.

Whether you are a beginner or expert, health and safety are important as you head out to your garden, vegetable plot, or lawn. Gardening can be a great way to get physical activity, beautify the community, and go green. However, it is important to protect yourself and take precautions as you work and play in the sun and around insects, lawn and garden equipment, and chemicals.

Below are some health and safety tips for gardeners to follow while enjoying the beauty and bounty gardening can bring:

Dress to protect.

·         Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, insects, and the sun by wearing the proper clothing, and safety equipment.

·         Use an insect repellant and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.

·         Always check your clothes and body for ticks.

·         Wear a hat with a wide rim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.

Know your limits in the heat.

·         Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems.

·         Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.

·         Schedule outdoor activities carefully, and pace yourself. Use common sense.

Stay hydrated.

·         Drink plenty of water.

·         Whatever your outdoor activity, have water on hand to decrease the chance of dehydration.

·         Avoid beverages with alcohol and drinks high in sugar, and stay away from caffeinated and carbonated beverages.

Put safety first.

·         Be aware of possible hazards to prevent for injury.

·         Read all instructions and labels before using chemicals and operating equipment.

·         Check equipment before each use.

·         Limit distractions while using equipment.

Enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

·         Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity.

·         Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.

·         Adults should get 2½ hours per week of physical activity.

Persons with disabilities and physical activity.

·         Engage in regular physical activity based on abilities and avoid inactivity.

·         Adults with disabilities should consult their health care provider about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.

·         Physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.

Get vaccinated.

·         Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives.

·         Remember that tetanus lives in soil and all adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years.

Go green.

·         Conserve water, reuse containers, recycle, and share your bounty.

·         Eye-catching gardens and landscapes that save water, prevent pollution, and protect the environment can be achieved.

Keep your yard clear.

·         Remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, and toys. Mosquitoes can breed in them within days.

·         Clearing trees and brush in your yard can reduce the likelihood that deer, rodents, and ticks will live there.

 

Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager

Plateau


Gardening Safety tips

Be Healthy and Safe in the Garden

Stay safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of gardening.

Whether you are a beginner or expert, health and safety are important as you head out to your garden, vegetable plot, or lawn. Gardening can be a great way to get physical activity, beautify the community, and go green. However, it is important to protect yourself and take precautions as you work and play in the sun and around insects, lawn and garden equipment, and chemicals.

Below are some health and safety tips for gardeners to follow while enjoying the beauty and bounty gardening can bring:

Dress to protect.

· Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, insects, and the sun by wearing the proper clothing, and safety equipment.

· Use an insect repellant and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.

· Always check your clothes and body for ticks.

· Wear a hat with a wide rim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.

Know your limits in the heat.

· Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems.

· Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.

· Schedule outdoor activities carefully, and pace yourself. Use common sense.

Stay hydrated.

· Drink plenty of water.

· Whatever your outdoor activity, have water on hand to decrease the chance of dehydration.

· Avoid beverages with alcohol and drinks high in sugar, and stay away from caffeinated and carbonated beverages.

Put safety first.

· Be aware of possible hazards to prevent for injury.

· Read all instructions and labels before using chemicals and operating equipment.

· Check equipment before each use.

· Limit distractions while using equipment.

Enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

· Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity.

· Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.

· Adults should get 2½ hours per week of physical activity.

Persons with disabilities and physical activity.

· Engage in regular physical activity based on abilities and avoid inactivity.

· Adults with disabilities should consult their health care provider about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.

· Physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.

Get vaccinated.

· Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives.

· Remember that tetanus lives in soil and all adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years.

Go green.

· Conserve water, reuse containers, recycle, and share your bounty.

· Eye-catching gardens and landscapes that save water, prevent pollution, and protect the environment can be achieved.

Keep your yard clear.

· Remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, and toys. Mosquitoes can breed in them within days.

· Clearing trees and brush in your yard can reduce the likelihood that deer, rodents, and ticks will live there.

The earth is what we all have in common. Remember Safety First, Safety Always.

Information from ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers)

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


Rakes and Pains (Dealing safely with autumn)


It’s that time of year again, the leaves change and begin to fall from the trees. We also fall back with our clocks this weekend Nov 6th turning them back an hour. This is a great time of year, but there are safety hazards too.

Leaf Raking requires a number of different activities, including twisting, bending, lifting, and reaching, that utilize several different muscle groups. Improper use of lawn tools along with the potential for tool-related accidents further compounds the risk of injury to the bones and muscles. You can ease the strain and pain of raking — fall’s most taxing task by taking the following precautions to minimize your risk of sustaining an injury:

  1. Avoid twisting your body while raking. Use your legs to shift your weight rather than twisting your back. Throwing leaves over the shoulder or to the side while raking involves twisting movements that can overly strain the muscles in the back.
  2. Use a properly-sized rake for your height and strength.
  3. Wear gloves to help prevent blisters on the hands.
  4. Bend at the knees, rather than the waist, to pick up items.
  5. Do some form of light exercise for ten minutes to warm up the muscles prior to raking.
  6. Try to vary your movements as much as you can to avoid overuse of muscle groups.
  7. Wear shoes with skid-resistant soles to minimize the risk of falling. Sturdy shoes can also reduce the risk of injuries to your feet.
  8. Don’t overdo. Raking is an aerobic activity – you may need to take frequent breaks or slow your pace if you are an infrequent exerciser. (It’s better to live with the leaves tomorrow than with a sore back!)
  9. As with any form of exercise, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration.
  10. When you’re done, gentle muscle stretching can help relieve tension in the muscles. A hot bath can relax muscles.
  11. Wear safety glasses and hearing protection when operating a leaf blower. Keep everyone clear of the air stream and the blown materials, which can cause potential injuries



As we begin our shift from the warm summer months to the cold winter months, we wish to remind you of a few other autumn safety considerations.

Give Space Heaters Space: Space heaters need space, too. As the weather gets cooler, space heaters come out of their summer hiding places. Remember to leave at least three feet of space around your heater. Unplug it when it’s not being used.

Test your CO Detector: During cold weather, your furnace will be running and your windows will be closed. Test the carbon monoxide detector near your home’s bedrooms. (FYI these detectors are required under Illinois law even in private homes.)

Never Heat with an Oven: On chilly autumn mornings, avoid the temptation to warm the kitchen with a gas range or an open oven door. The unvented products of combustion can quickly build to toxic levels.

Replace Expired Fire Extinguishers: Make sure that the fire extinguisher in your home still good. If it has expired or discharged, be sure to replace it promptly.

Test Your Local Smoke Detectors: If it needs a new battery, then replace it. If the detector still does not function, replace the detector.

Wear Gloves While Doing Yard Work: It is the season for cleaning up. To help avoid blisters and other injuries, be sure to wear gloves while doing yard work.

Use Your Legs to Lift Heavy Items: Whether you are putting things away for storage, or carrying garbage and yard waste to the curb, be sure to use your legs to avoid back injuries.

 

Today’s Blog Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


Landscaping Safety

It’s that time of year. Spring seems to bring out the gardener in all of us. At the first trace of sunshine and warmer weather we start to think about tending to the garden. This means, of course, that this is landscapers busiest season.

Landscapers and gardeners have safety issues that differ significantly from many of the safety issues in other industries. Because they are working outdoors they have to deal with environmental hazards (sunburn, heat stress, hypothermia, severe weather, etc…). Because they are using heavy equipment and machinery there are pinch point issues, crushing issues, vibration issues, etc… Because they are required to lift rocks, bricks, dirt, etc… they also have to deal with ergonomic and muscle strain issues, not to mention the usual falls, slips, trips, cuts, abrasions, etc… issues.

Fortunately there’s a manual available for download. The 57 page “Safety in the Landscape Industry” is available from farmsafety.ca.