Whether you have a job landscaping, work your own business or do it for a hobby on your own property, landscaping is often sheer hard work, so it is important to take care at all times in order to avoid injury. Even if you are fit and love your job, it is still possible to injure yourself if you don’t be careful.
Here are 9 tips to help you stay healthy when doing this kind of work –
- Learn the proper way to lift heavy weights. When doing the kind of work involved with gardening or landscaping, you’ll often have to lift things that are not only heavy, but awkward and have no handles. It’s important to use lifting equipment wherever possible, but if you do have to lift by hand you should bend your knees, not your back. And never lift and swing around at the same time. That’s a sure recipe for a bad back that can put you off work for weeks.
- Use safety equipment such as goggles, gloves and proper boots. Your eyes are important, but a flying rock or nail can ruin your eyesight for good, while dust and grit can make them sore. Gloves may feel awkward, but they can prevent blisters and scratches that can fester and turn septic. They can also prevent spider bites. The same goes for boots.
- Working out in the heat and sun can dehydrate you. There might be a nice breeze so you don’t feel like you are sweating, but you are. Drinking water at regular intervals will keep you hydrated. If it’s mid-summer, choose a drink that contains electrolytes to prevent cramps. Organise your work so the hardest jobs are not done in the midday heat.
- Don’t listen to music through headphones while you work. You need to be alert to what’s happening around you. That said, if you are using really noisy equipment, you should wear ear-muffs to protect your hearing. Make sure there are no kids playing around where you are working.
- Wear a hat or cap and sunscreen wherever possible to protect from sunburn.
- Don’t wear clothes that are loose and flop about, such as an unbuttoned shirt, as the fabric can be caught in machinery and cause you extensive injury.
- Take proper precautions with long sleeves and trousers and a mask when using chemicals such as pesticides.
- Make sure you always know how to handle the equipment you work with. Undergo training if you need to, so you’ll be a safe operator and not risking life and limb.
- Always carry a first aid box in your vehicle and have a phone in your pocket to call for help in emergencies.