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Backyard Lawn and Garden Landscaping Safety Tips

by Angelique Gervais, All About Lawns Columnist

Your backyard should be a relaxation retreat.  Even the time you spend on upkeep should be as enjoyable as possible.  Sometimes your backyard lawn and garden landscaping can become tedious.  It's at those times that you are most likely to make tragic mistakes.  The National Safety Council says that in 1995, 136,526 accidents occurred due to lawn and garden equipment.  These injuries are all preventable by exercising a little caution.
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Preparations for Work

Before doing any backyard lawn and garden landscaping work, be sure to prepare yourself, the tools, and the area.  If you are unfamiliar with the tools, read all manufacturers instructions and warnings before use.  Check the fuel level of gas powered tools and fill before starting them.  Never fill the fuel tank when the equipment is hot.  Check cords and blades to be sure they are in good order and secure.  Clear the area of all obstacles such as toys, rocks, and debris.  Pets and children should be kept inside during backyard lawn and garden landscaping work if at all possible.  If not, secure a spot that is removed from the work area.  Check under lawnmowers and clear away any accumulated grass.  Wear sturdy shoes or boots with good gripping soles.  Protective eyewear, gloves, long sleeved shirts, and long pants will keep you safe from small flying debris and tree limbs.

Work Safely

Start gas mowers on flat surfaces with good traction.  As you proceed, always push the mower away from you.  Never pull it toward you.  If there are any slopes in your landscaping, be sure to work parallel to the slope, not up or down. Remember to never mow beneath trees or shrubs where you are not able to see.  Obstacles may be hiding there and can be dangerous if thrown back by the blade.  Electric trimmer and power saws were not made for overhead trimming.  Use them only out in front of you.  If there is a problem with the equipment, shut it down and wait until it has cooled before repairing it.

Store Properly

When the work is all done be sure to complete the job by cleaning your backyard lawn and garden landscaping equipment thoroughly and drying it well.  Then put it away in a safe storage spot away from children's reach.  By following these simple safety precautions you can ensure that your yard will remain a place filled with pleasant memories and relaxing times.

About the Author
Angelique Gervais owns and operates a graphic design business serving rural areas in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

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