It’s that time of year when the grass grows so fast you swear you can see it inching up. The weather is nice and there’s just so much you want to do with the yard. Many people do their own yard work but few have ever done it as a living, thus they are prone to injury. Believe it or not, around 50% of worksman’s comp filings are for strain and not serious, permanent injury. If professionals strain themselves that often, think how careful you should be!
Survey: Before mowing, take a walk around the area and pick up any debris that could cause injury. For your spine and other strains, make sure there aren’t any new holes or sinking in your yard. Tripping and falling, even at a young age, can cause serious damage.
Posture: Take stretch breaks frequently. Stretch your arms and legs and especially your back. Wear kneepads if your work will require kneeling for more that a few minutes. Consider buying a roll-along gardening stools for easy access to your tools. Any vibrating machinery can reverberate into your spine and cause strain. Take frequent breaks if operating such machinery or if lifting heavy object. Lift with your legs is a no brainer, but lift with another person is even better.
Clothing: Fingers, toes and eyes seem to be the most vulnerable parts of your body when you’re working outdoors. When mowing or doing other heavy yardwork, wear sturdy shoes preferably with non-slip rubber soles and high ankles, gloves and eye protection. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothes and jewelry that can get tangled in the moving parts of power tools. If this “extra” clothing makes you hot, take breaks. It’s when we are tired or hot that we are most prone to poor judgement and injury.
Tools: Use the right ones and learn to use them properly. While many people have shovels, it’s surprising to see how many people use them improperly or get impatient and move to fast. Another interesting tip- push your material to the back of the wheelbarrow, away from the handles so that gravity does more work than your back.
If you or someone you know has suffered a sprain or strain, make sure to give us a call. Or, for more information, simply fill out the form below. Be careful out there!!!