If you’re working as a landscaper, then you’re going to be exposed to a whole range of dangers that other professionals don’t have to worry about. Therefore, it’s worth putting some time and thought into how you’re going to stay safe. Let’s take a look at several key steps to take.
Many of the worst safety hazards in landscaping come as a result of poor, or poorly maintained, equipment. This doesn’t just mean your power tools – if you’re trying to saw through dense timber with a blunt handsaw, then you’re putting yourself at risk of repetitive strain injuries.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a list of the tools you really need, invest in high-quality items wherever possible, and replace any damaged or missing components as soon as possible. If you have enough cash available to invest up-front, then you’ll be able to save in the long-run. After all, it’s better to buy a quality piece of equipment once than it is to buy a series of shoddy replacements.
Certain tools, like the cordless hedge trimmer, will tend to get more use than others. Invest in quality!
Personal protective equipment really matters in this industry. This means wearing substantial gloves that will protect you against nicks and scratches, while still allowing you to effectively work. It means wearing protective glasses, particularly when you’re working on jobs that might send splinters flying up into your face. A hard hat should also be considered indispensable.
If you’re working at height, then you should have a quality harness. If you’re on your knees for most of the day, protect them with the right set of pads. Finally, we should consider your footwear. It should protect your toes with caps, and it should ideally protect your soles, too.
In landscaping, you’ll be handling some potentially damaging materials. Pesticides are potentially damaging to the health of humans and wildlife – so you should learn the ropes of pesticide safety and avoid unnecessary exposure. This is something that the HSE takes very seriously – you’ll need to work closely with them if you’re going to be earning a living through the administration of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. You don’t want to wait for an incident before you learn how the system works. Educate yourself pro-actively, and you’ll make the workplace much safer both for yourself and your employees.
Double and triple-checking will help you to ensure that you arnen’t cutting any corners, or compromising on safety. You might use a variant of the ‘point and call’ method favoured by Japanese railway workers. By gesturing toward a potential hazard and vocalising the danger, you’ll avoid doing things on autopilot – and potentially you’ll also avoid making costly mistakes. Work it into your daily routine, making sure that tools and ladders are cared for and that PPE is being worn appropriately.