Yard work safety

We are enjoying a lovely, warm spring here in Portland!  Lawns are ready to be mowed and flowers ready to be planted, but make sure you take some safety precautions to avoid injury or property damage while doing your yard work.  Follow these basic safety tips to ensure you have a fun, productive day working in your yard.


  1. Check your equipment from last year to make sure it is still in working order. Critters can chew through wires or wood causing your tools from last season to pose a potential risk of injury.


  1. Wear appropriate clothing while mowing your lawn. Clothing should not be loose or restrict movement and shoes must have adequate traction to avoid slipping.  Safety glasses and ear protection are also advised to further protect you from injury.


  1. Always push a lawn mower; never pull it toward you to get into a hard to reach spot. Mow hills from side to side, as opposed to up and down to prevent slipping or falling.


  1. Clear your yard of debris (sticks, rocks, dog toys, etc…) before trimming your grass. A lawn mower can send an object flying with enough speed to break a window or cause bodily harm!


  1. When using outdoor electrical power tools always check that your work area is dry; never damp or wet. Avoid electrical safety hazards by ensuring your tools are equipped with GFCIs and your extensions cords are in proper working order.


  1. Never allow children to operate lawn mowers or electrical power tools,


  1. It may not be hot yet, but always remember to stay well hydrated while performing outdoor tasks and take breaks when needed. Wear sunscreen when working outdoors, even when it’s cloudy.


  1. Take care of your back while taking care of your yard! Never lift more than you are comfortable with and always make sure your back is well supported by lifting properly.  Do not overfill waste bins, making them too heavy to comfortably carry.  While weeding, kneel as opposed to bending over.


  1. Keep pesticides and herbicides out of the reach of children and animals. These potentially toxic substances should be safely stored where only adults can access them.  Read all warning labels regarding safety, especially in areas that surround edible gardens.


  1. Update your tetanus shot! You should always be current with this vaccination, while working in the yard the possibility of puncturing yourself with a rusty nail or old rake is high.  Keep current records of your vaccinations so you can verify your last shot, should you accidently cut yourself.