As some may have gotten complacent over the slow winter months...I thought I would post this and hopefully it will help all of us stay safe in the upcoming season. Oh...and this would make a great addition to a newsletter for homeowners and maybe act as reasoning for hiring us. LAWN AND GARDEN IMPLEMENT HAZARDS Each year, many serious injuries result from use of power mowers, string trimmers, and electric and gasoline-powered hedge trimmers. Injuries from power mowers most commonly result from · rocks and other objects picked up and thrown by the mower, · riding mowers tipping over on steep slopes or inclines, · garden tractors or riding mowers used in reverse gear that run over bystanders, or · hand contact with mower blades when clearing grass from the discharge chute or adjusting the machine before the blades have fully stopped. Most string trimmers injuries are the result of · debris or objects picked up and thrown by the trimmer, · failure to wear appropriate protective clothing and eye and ear protection, or · unsafe handling of the trimmer or of fuel. Hedge-trimmer accidents most often occur when the operator · changes hand position while the trimmer is running, · uses a trimmer with only one handle or holds a two-handled trimmer with one hand, or · attempts to hold the cord away from the blade. The following safety tips may help you avoid accidents with lawn and garden implements. Lawn Mowers Lawn mowers are associated with approximately 80,000 injuries annually in the United States. To avoid injury to yourself or to others, follow these simple precautions: · When buying a power mower, make sure it has a rear guard to protect hands and feet from blades and a downward-aimed discharge chute so debris is less likely to hit anyone nearby. · Before mowing, pick up or rake up litter and other objects wires, nails, rocks, twigs and glass from the area to be mowed. The blade of a power mower can reach a speed of 200 miles per hour and can hurl objects as far as 50 feet. · Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with an enclosed toe, safety glasses, gloves, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. · Do not allow children or pets in the area you are mowing. · Before unclogging or adjusting the mower, turn it off and disconnect the spark plug wire or electric plug. · Never leave a running lawn mower unattended. · Never carry small children on a riding mower. · Never allow children to operate a mower. · Mow across slopes if using a walk-behind mower; drive a riding mower up and down slopes. · Do not refuel while the mower is running or the engine is hot. · Do not smoke near a power mower or gasoline. String Trimmers These safety rules can help you avoid injury while using a string trimmer: · Wear appropriate protective gear, including safety goggles, hearing protection and gloves. Persons who suffer from hay fever may want to wear a disposable mask to reduce the amount of allergenic particles inhaled. · Choose clothing that fits trimly and has no strings or dangling straps that could catch in the trimmer or in the underbrush. Avoid ties and jewelry. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes with non-slip soles. · Be sure you have read the operator's and safety manuals before using the trimmer. It is important to be familiar with the controls, particularly with how to stop the unit and shut off the engine. · Keep the area where you will be working clear of bystanders, children and pets. Manufacturers recommend that no one enter the operating danger zone, an area 50 feet in radius. Even beyond this zone, there is danger of eye injury from thrown objects. · Never operate the tool without good visibility and light. · Keep the unit and attachments in good working condition. Tighten loose fasteners and replace any missing fasteners before using the unit. Check the cutting head assembly before each use. · Always use both hands on the handles. Do not operate one-handed. Hedge Trimmers If using gasoline-powered or electric hedge trimmers, follow these safety guidelines: · Buy a trimmer that has the cutting teeth and guard close enough together so your finger cannot fit between them. · Be sure the trimmer has two handles; one should be a wide forward handle high above the cutting blade. · Make sure the trimmer is light enough to handle easily. · If using an electric hedge trimmer, use a heavy duty three-wire extension cord with a three-pronged plug. Make sure the extension cord is moisture-resistant and in good repair. · Keep children and others away from the working area. · Do not stand on a chair or ladder to trim hedges or bushes. · Do not clean or adjust the trimmer while it is plugged in.