For most of us here in Central New York, spring means working in the yard. It feels good to get out of the house and get active cleaning up from our long winter. But that often means we’re using tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.
In fact, one of our friends is a Utica lawyer and he told us that the most dangerous place for American men is the home! That’s right, people get hurt with their tools, they fall off the roof or ladder, and suffer dozens of other mishaps around the house.
How many people get hurt each year with typical yard and garden equipment? Check out these estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The number after the tools is the estimated number of injuries throughout the country.
- Chain Saws: 24,917
- Hand Garden Tools: 64,595
- Hatchets, Axes: 11, 615
- Lawn & Garden Equipment: 92,328
- Lawn Mowers: 81,938
- Other Power Lawn Equipment: 21,724
- Trimmers, Small Power Garden Tools: 20,093
So don’t let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital! Follow these handy safety tips.
Tool safety tips from the U.S. CPSC
- Protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools by wearing eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes and no jewelry. They recommend sturdy shoes and ear plugs depending on how loud the device is.
- Before starting, remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass or stones.
- Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them. Sticks and stones can fly out from underneath your rotary lawn mower and seriously hurt kids.
- Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult.
- Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Of course, you should never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
- Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool. This is especially true if you’re using an electric lawn mower.
Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University
- If you use chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Follow all instructions.
- Keep children and animals away from the application area, and protect your skin, eyes and nose during and after application.
- Remember, use only the recommended amount. Using more of the chemical will not do a better job.
- Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?
From all of us at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, here’s to keeping both you and your lawn healthy this summer!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.