Yard Work Safety Tips
July 15, 2020
Every year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) releases general information and safety tips on how people can best avoid injuries while doing yard work. Every year, at least 100 people die and another 143,000 sustain injuries serious enough to warrant emergency medical treatment. Certain products are more dangerous than others (such as lawn mowers, ladders, and power tools), so taking precautionary measures while conducting yard work is an excellent way to prevent injuries from happening.
Tips for Preventing Injuries
Even popular summertime activities like gardening can result in injuries. The CPSC recommends that people wear protective clothing, like gardening gloves, sturdy shoes, and long pants, to avoid cuts or abrasions. It is also important to put watering hoses in safe places so as not to create trip, slip, and fall hazards. Ladder-related hazards are particularly dangerous, as they can result in injuries like broken backs, necks, legs, ankles, and hips. In some cases, a fall from a ladder can be fatal. Once you make sure that you are using the right ladder for the job at hand, here are a few other tips that help to prevent injuries:
- Always inspect a ladder before using it. Do not use a ladder if it is showing any signs of damage or weakness (like cracks, missing components, splits, bent steps, loose rivets, etc.)
- Make sure the ladder is set up on a firm, stable surface. Do not set a ladder up in close proximity to a door that could swing open and hit it. If the ladder feels unstable, have someone hold it from the ground
- While using a ladder, stay as steady as possible. This means not extending your reach more than 1 foot beyond the rails and avoiding making any jerky, sudden movements
Sometimes yard work involves the use of power tools. Some of the most dangerous power tools are riding lawn mowers, chainsaws, circular saws, nail guns, and table saws (but other kinds are dangerous, too). If a power tool shows signs of damage (e.g. has worn wiring, motors, or other electrical parts that could create fire and shock hazards), do not use it. The CPSC also recommends taking the following precautions:
- Plug power tools with cords into a ground fault circuit protected receptacles or portable GFCIs (general purpose portable ground fault circuit interrupters)
- Never use power tools in damp or wet weather conditions
- Protect yourself with safety gear like safety goggles, glasses and face shields. Wear snug clothing and remove any jewelry (certain tools can pull jewelry or drawstrings into moving parts)
- If the tool is battery-powered, only use the batteries and chargers that the manufacturer provides
- Keep hands away from all moving parts
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions on safe use before using any power tool
Although lawn mowers are a type of power tool (so the above safety tips apply), the CPSC has some additional safety tips for operating them. The agency stresses the importance of never having children in a yard while someone is mowing – and never allow a child to ride a mower as a passenger (or driver). Before mowing the lawn, do a walk-through and pick up objects and debris like branches, toys, and stones. If a lawn mower runs over objects like these it can propel them into the air, which sometimes results in serious and debilitating injuries. Just like when using other power tools, wearing protective clothing (eye protection, hearing protection, close-fitting clothing, etc.) is important.
Dangerous Products Cause Injuries
Sometimes dangerous products injure people. In fact, every year dangerous products injure thousands of consumers. Manufacturers are legally obligated to produce and sell safe products. But sometimes, they disregard their obligation and put profits over people’s safety and lives. If a product has caused an injury due to a manufacturing defect, unsafe design, or the failure to provide certain instructions, you may want to consider filing a products liability claim. To find out more about filing a claim, contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.