Make Safety Part of Springtime Groundwork

The Safety Equipment Association encourages the use of proper personal protective equipment to guard against injuries while doing yard work.

Workers may never think twice about using personal protective equipment on-the-job, but do they ever think about using it off-the-job?

With spring weather right around the corner, America's yard keepers are getting their power mowers, hedge trimmers, weed cutters, leaf blowers and other power tools ready for another busy season.

When they do, it's also time to think about the right equipment to guard against injuries, according to The Safety Equipment Association (ISEA).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that about 230,000 people each year receive treatment in hospital emergency rooms for injuries relating to lawn and garden tools.

ISEA says many of these injuries can be prevented or mitigated through the use of safety equipment.

Safety glasses with side shields, a dust mask or respirator, work gloves and safety shoes always should be worn when operating power mowers, hedge trimmers, weed cutters and leaf blowers.

These implements with fast-moving blades or cutting lines and high-velocity air flow can kick up plenty of dust and hard, sharp objects such as sticks, stones and glass.

Operators of leaf blowers, weed cutters and power mowers should use hearing protection such as earplugs or muffs, as well, since noise from these pieces of equipment can contribute to hearing loss, ISEA says.

Safety equipment to meet your springtime needs can be found in local hardware centers and home-improvement stores.

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