Safety Tips for Groundskeepers and Those Who Work Outdoors
Groundskeepers and those who work outdoors have a lot to keep in mind when it comes to safety and protecting themselves. Whether you work with power equipment or not, the joy of being outdoors also brings hazards to keep in mind.
Employees who use power tools may be exposed to falling or sharp objects, harmful dust and even fumes. Broken equipment can bring even more issues. Before you head out make sure to check your equipment for loose, broken, or damaged parts before use. It is also a good idea to use tools with padded handles to minimize vibration. If you smell burning plastic or smoke, see sparks, or feel tingling or a shock turn off the equipment right away and discontinue use.
Wear high-top boots with steel-reinforced toes, goggles, gloves, respirators, and hearing protection should all be a part of the standard uniform.
Find out what types of chemicals you will be working with and ask your supervisor or chemical provider for training, including how to use the product properly and how to read the SDS. Make sure all chemicals you use are labeled and if you put chemicals into a different container, label the new container.
When using pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, sanitizers, and other hazardous chemicals be sure you know what it is you are using and how to protect yourself and your family. It is even recommended to bring clean clothes and shoes to change into at the end of the work shift if you will be doing large area spraying with the potential of overspray getting on you, so you do not bring any chemicals home. Wash your work clothes separately from other clothes.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors and in the sun you are at risk of heat illness, which can be serious. Exposure to the sun can also cause cataracts and skin cancer. You can use wrap-around sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection to reduce your risk of cataracts. Wear thin, light-colored long pants, long-sleeve shirt, and a hat. Use sun screen all over, even on body parts covered from the sun. Take rest breaks and drink plenty of water.
Make sure you will be around to enjoy the great outdoors for many years to come.