Safety First and Nobody Gets Hurt
Landscape construction is heavy work involving tools and equipment that are often much bigger, harder, sharper, and more powerful than you. Because you'll be doing your landscaping sustainably, you won't be using toxic chemicals, so that problem's out of the way. But you have to deal with numerous other considerations to stay in one piece and to keep your family and others safe:
✓ Keep the place clean. Make sure that all pathways, all work areas, and the site in general are tidy at all times. Don't leave materials stacked precariously, sharp tools left in harm's way, or open trenches unmarked. Keep in mind that kids and possibly the public may find their way onto your property during construction. Make daily inspections.
- Wear proper clothing and safety gear. Heavy boots (no flip-flops or tennies), sturdy clothing, gloves, safety goggles, a back brace for lifting, and a dust mask — all these items are essential to keeping you safe.
- Lift with your legs, not your back. In other words, squat (keeping your back straight) to lift instead of bending over. And don't be macho; get help with heavy stuff.
- Know how to use your tools. Read instruction manuals that come with the equipment you're using. And get a lesson on operating any heavy equipment you rent.
- Keep tools and equipment in good condition. Make sure that safety guards are in place. Watch for frayed power cords, loose blades, and dull cutting tools (sharp ones are actually safer).
- Use a GFCI. That's a ground fault circuit interrupter — a safety device for electrical equipment that cuts off power before it can hurt you in the event of a short circuit.
- Never refuel gas-powered equipment while it's running or hot. Also, be sure to store fuel in approved containers in a safe location.
- Stay out of wet concrete. Contact with skin can cause cement poisoning. So be sure to wear rubber boots and gloves when working with concrete.
- Stay out of trees, too. Leave tree climbing to experts and squirrels. It's a long way down.
- If you're working around dry grasses and weeds, keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Avoid using steel tools that can spark against rocks.
- Keep a first-aid kit handy at all times. Know emergency contact numbers, and let family members know if you'll be doing something risky.
- Keep kids and pets out of the way. They don't understand the dangers.
- Watch your contractors. Not all contractors provide safety training for their workers. Keep an eye on them.
- Do only what you're comfortable with. It's always better to hire a professional than to get hurt.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.
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