Before you break out the gark rake, tree root cutting tools, and other yard tools, be sure to take proper safety measures. Over 76 thousand people are injured annually from raking leaves or using other garden tools, according to the National Institutes of Health. By actively preventing injury, you can have a healthier, more productive yard work project.
- Bundle Up: While raking leaves in the fall or cutting grass in the early spring, dress in layers to keep your muscles warm. Warm muscles strain and tear less easily. If you start to overheat, shed a layer or two.
- Warm Up: While dressing properly for the weather can bring your muscles to an optimal temperature, physically warming and loosening your body will do the same. Walk around the yard or down the street to further prep your muscles for the work ahead.
- Use Proper Technique: Bend your knees and keep your spine straight while raking leaves or shoveling dirt. Do not reach too far as to strain your arms and back. Also consider switching your dominant hand every couple of minutes.
- Choose the Right Tools: Using the wrong tool for the job can cause you to work much harder than necessary. For example, while landscaping a tricky root-filled area, be sure to use tree root cutting tools rather than a hand saw or shovel. The lightweight, multipurpose golden gark rake, which is a rake, a shovel, and a soil sieve combined, is another time and energy saver.
- Wear Gloves: Prevent blisters and protect your hands from sharp objects by wearing durable gardening gloves.
- Wear Proper Footwear: Close-toed, supportive footwear such as boots and sneakers will stabilize you while you complete your work. Even in warm weather, avoid wearing non-protective sandals or flip-flops.
- Take Breaks: Rest when necessary to recharge your body. Also, be sure to hydrate and eat snacks in order to keep your energy levels stabilized.
- Know Your Limits: Don’t be a hero. Know when an object is too heavy to lift, and when you need to stop working for the day. Overworking yourself will only put you behind on your yard work projects.
As you continue to check off this year’s project to do list, be sure to also prioritize the above safety measures. By preventing injury, you will complete your yard work in a more efficient manner, creating the beautiful yard you envision.