A few simple tips to not get hurt while landscapingNovember 26, 2018
Years of experience providing landscape services in Harrisonburg Virginia have taught me several lessons when it comes to the safety of myself and my crew. It’s very easy to get yourself hurt while gardening or working on your own home’s landscaping. I came up with a few simple tips that I always follow, in order to prevent me and my crew from getting hurt while landscaping, and now I want to pass these on to you so that you’re mindful when working on your next landscaping project.
Although your not going to be going to the gym to lift weights, working outside can be just as physically demanding as working out. I always makes sure to stretch before going out and doing any landscaping work. This helps my body get adjusted to the physical intensity that comes with every landscaping project. You will find that stretching and warming up before starting to work on your landscape, will help you not get too sore after working for several hours bending down, kneeling down and lifting heavy objects.
Lift with your legs, not your back.
Sooner or later you will have to lift something heavy, such as rocks, a bag of mulch, or any heavy tools that you might need for your landscaping project. One of the biggest tips I can give you so that you do not hurt yourself while lifting heavy objects, is to lift with your your legs and not your back. According to an article by Spine Health, lifting with your back can cause several types of injuries if you do not lift with proper form. Those injuries can range between muscle injury, joint injury and disc injury.
In order to prevent a back injury, you must bend the hips and keep your upper body upright as much as possible, while keeping your chest forward and the weight as close to your body as possible. I always tell myself “bend hips, body upright, chest forward, weight close”, as I’m getting ready to pick something up, even if the object is not heavy at all. It doesn’t hurt to practice this any time that you are working outside. Hopefully using this tip will help you prevent getting a sprained muscle down the road.
Also be aware of any objects that might get too heavy for you to lift on your own. It’s better to ask your loved ones or colleague for help than risk getting a severe back injury. If you have to carry a heavy object quiet a distance, use a dolly. If you don’t have a dolly, as for a second set of arms to help you carry it. Although it may seem like common sense, I have seen people do this without them realizing the risk that they put themselves in by not asking for help.
Never bend over to lift things up.
Another tip that goes with this is to never ever bend over to lift or pick something up, but instead crouch down. This may make you feel stupid if you’re picking up a small object like a twig or a small brick, but it only takes one incident for your lumbar region to get out of balance when you bend over. I once hurt myself bending over to pick up a half brick. Just remember that your spine is not a suspension bridge, it’s supposed to be a column designed to hold you in the upright position, so stay upright as much as you can.
Glasses and Gloves
One of the easiest landscaping things you can do to improve your lawn is to mow the grass. This process will also involve weed-eating, and using a leaf blower to blow off leaves and any grass that has blown into the sidewalks. While doing this, you’ll soon find out that your eyes will be prone to getting hit with dust/debris. This is why I always make sure that I have my safety glasses in my pocket or somewhere easily accessible, like on my ride-on mower.
It can be a very dangerous situation for yourself if you are working outside and don’t have any eye protection, especially since your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body. Not only do you risk getting hit and having something stuck in your eye, but you also have the risk of losing your vision, and nobody wants that to happen to them, so next time you are going to work on your garden or home landscaping, make sure you protect your eyes.
Same goes for your hands. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pricked by roses because I was too in a hurry and forgot to get my gloves from the car. Always make sure that you keep your hands protected when working with plants and flowers that have thorns on them. Also, My hands sweat easily, so I also use gloves when I’m doing any lifting, as this helps prevent any objects slip from my hands while they’re sweaty, and it also gives me a small layer of protection in case there’s any sharp edges on the object such as rocks, plants, etc…
This one is another that is often an oversight when first starting out landscaping your own home. I always make sure that my crew stays hydrated while we are out performing our landscaping service in Harrisonburg, especially since the temperatures here can reach up to the high 90’s in the summer. So make sure that you drink a lot of water and keep some Gatorade or Powerade drinks handy. Water and electrolytes will help you stay hydrated when working outside in the sun.
I also try to plan out the landscaping service in such a way where we take care of the hard stuff first in the morning, while it’s still cool outside and the sun isn’t scorching hot. This leaves the easy stuff for later in the day, when the temperature has risen. I always tell my crew to wear light colored, loose fit cotton shirts which help reduce the sweating, along with a brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.
I always say that it’s better to let the landscaping pros take care of your beautiful yard. So give us a call at (540) 221-0853 or request a free estimate!