Texas State University spends considerable time, effort, and money on grounds maintenance. From flower care, to lawn care, tree trimming, and leaf blowing, Texas State University employees are responsible for safely maintaining the grounds on campus. Gardening tools and mechanical lawn care devices, such as lawn mowers, power blowers, and chain saws, present special safety concerns for grounds maintenance personnel.
Common landscaping accidents include the following:
- Cuts, lacerations, or amputations from whirling mower blades.
- Bruises or broken bones from flying projectiles.
- Burns from hot equipment parts
- Electrical shock from faulty grounding or defective electrical cords
- Back strain from improper equipment usage
- Slips, trips, and falls
Regardless of the type of landscape equipment you use, follow these basic guidelines to ensure optimum safety:
- Read the equipment owner's manual.
- Use the right equipment for the job at hand.
- Inspect the equipment before each use.
- Know how to control and stop the equipment quickly.
- Wear personal protection equipment, as necessary:
- Eye protection
- Hearing protection
- Long pants
- Sturdy shoes
- Work gloves
- Apply sunscreen to exposed areas of skin.
- Be careful to avoid fatigue and heat stress
- Refer to theGeneral Safety chapter in this manual for more information):
- Drink plenty of water
- Take breaks
- Do not operate powered equipment if you are tired, sick, or taking medication.
- Take special precautions when working with electrical equipment. If you are using an extension cord, take care not to accidentally cut it.
- Do not smoke around gas powered equipment. Allow hot equipment to cool before refueling.
- Make sure that all guards are in place and in good condition.
Keep pedestrians and bystanders at least 30 feet away when using power equipment.
Reviewed November 2014