We at Details Landscape Art recognize that our employees are our most valuable assets. As a North Bay landscape contractor, employee personal protection safety is our number one priority.
Many injuries can be directly attributed to workers being fatigued due to repetitive strenuous work for extended periods of time. The most common injuries are muscle strains in arms, backs and stomachs. The work routines that lead to fatigue related muscle strains are as follows:
- Mowing grass – lifting over-filled grass catchers, and lifting over-filled tarps.
- Fertilizing – applying granular fertilizers for large turf areas and slopes using the ‘belly-grinder type spreader.
- Pruning – using the power hedgers above waist height or bending over at the waist to reach the center portions of hedges.
- Slope work – planting, digging, removing old shrubs and stumps, moving soil, rock and bark.
- Large areas of weed removal and shrub demolition.
- Tree staking – using heavy pole pounders above head height.
- Debris removal – loading and unloading large branches, raking and removing leaves, removing rock, stone, and gravel.
Fatigue related injuries COULD be prevented if we concentrate on the following:
- Use the proper techniques in preventing back strains, particular lifting.
- When delegating work, remember that there are always four major considerations: manpower, materials, equipment and safety.
Employee personal protection involves protecting certain parts of the body.
Protecting the lungs:
- Protect your lungs with the proper respirator. Some dust masks are fairly adequate for limited uses, but not for most needs.
- Ensure masks are in working order and available to workers.
- Damage from particles and vapors doesn’t show up right away. It is very important workers understand the real danger when working with certain materials and products.
- Think ahead. Know where you will be working during the day and what types of pollutants and dust you may encounter. Prepare yourself with the proper respirator for the day’s activities.
Protecting the eyes:
- Use high quality sunglasses that offer complete protection from the sun. Cheap sunglasses will not protect your eyes fro certain types of the sun’s rays.
- Did you know that 10% of cataracts are caused by UV-B exposure to the eyes?
- Wear straps on your glasses to prevent losing them. This also keeps your safety glasses from being scratched while in the glove box or truck.
- Sunglasses are not safety glasses – don’t substitute them.
- When using power equipment or have any type of exposure to possible eye damage, wear safety glasses or a protective face shields.
- If you wear contact lenses, be aware that job sites have quite a bit of airborne contaminants and dust.
- Use chemicals with caution – be careful about splashing.
- If you get debris in your eyes, wash them out with water. If you can’t remove the debris or particle, go to the doctor. It is easy to scratch the surface of the eye.
Personal protective equipment:
- Leather work gloves
- Safety vest
- Leather scabbard
- Safety glasses
- Ear protector headphones
- Hard hats
- Face shield
- Dust masks – face respirators
- Heavy duty overalls
- Leather work boots
- Rubber work boots
- Employee personal protection is mostly common sense, but also requires having the right guidelines in place as well as the right clothing and protective safety equipment.