Check the Location
The first thing to do when reaching a worksite is to look over the area for hazards. Rocks, cables, broken tree limbs, uneven ground, exposed roots, and anything of concern should be noted and shared with everyone at the site before work begins. If a hazard can be removed, that should be the first job of the day.
The next consideration should be equipment. Is the right equipment available for the job? Are the tools in good condition, and are safety guards required by the manufacturer in place? Also, any chutes to help direct debris should be in place. These chutes help prevent injuries and property damage from flying objects.
After checking the environment and equipment, it’s time to focus a little more closely on yourself. Staying hydrated is important when working outdoors, so you should drink water before you reach the site. Even at moderate temperatures, we need more water to get through a day of hard work. Once you feel thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated. Begin the habit of drinking plenty of water early in the season and throughout the day.
Personal protective equipment is an important step for any manual labor jobs. Safety glasses will protect against both small and large debris, while ear protection can keep your hearing intact while running noisy landscaping equipment. Proper footwear will help prevent cuts and scratches, give good support, and protect you if you do come in contact with a moving part of a machine. And, don’t forget gloves, which will help protect against cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Remember; check the environment, equipment, and yourself before starting work at each landscaping site and you will have a safer, more productive and enjoyable day.
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