D■ Metro Service
uring the winter, many people anxiously await the arrival of warm weather so they can get back outdoors. Gardening is one outdoor activity that attracts many a devotee.
Although gardening can be a worthwhile and enjoyable hobby for people of all ages, like other activities, gardening carries certain safety risks, even though few people may give much thought to the risk of getting hurt when gardening. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that gardeners suffer thousands of injuries every year. Many of these injuries involve lawn and garden equipment or accessories used while tending to plants. From lawn mowers to pruners to manual garden tools, gardeners may handle various pieces of equipment that can make them susceptible to injury if they’re not careful.
To reduce their risk for injury, gardeners can follow these important safety precautions.
• Plant gardens in raised garden beds and containers to reduce the need to stoop down to tend to plants. Raised beds are easier on gardeners’ backs and knees.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and durable pants to protect arms and legs from branches, thorns and insects.
• Remove tripping hazards, such as roots, lumber, rocks, and loose gravel, from the yard at the start of gardening season.
• Wear gloves to prevent blisters from forming and to protect hands from any chemical products used in the garden. Gloves also can keep hands clean, ensuring bacteria and fungi do not find their way into open cuts or scrapes.
• Vary activities and take periodic breaks so prolonged repetitive motions do not contribute to soreness or injury.
• Follow instructions for tools, and always use the right tool for the job.