Gardening Safety

 "According to Garden Research's 2018 national survey, Americans set a record by spending $47.8 billion on lawn and garden products and services this year. That breaks down to an average of $503 per household in 2018 - up nearly $100 from 2017."

toolshed

With people spending more time and money on gardening in the United States, it is important to make sure you are staying safe outside while doing yard work. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind while you are gardening and enjoying the outdoors this summer.

  • Dress to Protect - Use Personal Protective Equipment
    • If using powered tools or equipment wear safety glasses, sturdy shoes and long pants
    • Protect your hearing by using ear plugs or muffs when using loud machinery
    • Wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, fungi, and sharp tools
    • Use insect repellent to protect yourself from garden pests, like ticks and mosquitoes
  • Heat Stress and Hydration
    • Know your limits in the heat, drink more fluids, take breaks often, and watch for symptoms of heat related illnesses
    • Eat healthy meals before yard work to keep you energized
    • Block the sun, wear sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face, head, ears, and neck
    • The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. have the most UV exposure in the United States
    • Stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water
  • Chemicals and Tools
    • Follow instructions on chemical warning labels
    • Always keep chemicals out of the reach of children
    • Make sure that your mechanical equipment is working properly and follow the rules of the instruction manual
  • Ergonomics
    • Do warm up exercises before you start work in the garden
    • Avoid repetitive motions, switch up your tasks every 15 minutes and take a break in between each task
    • Kneeling instead of bending over puts less strain on your back, try using knee pads for extra comfort
    • Take care when lifting heavy objects, lift with your legs not with your back, if something is too heavy, get assistance from a friend or use a tool like a cart to help you