Dress For Safety
Warm spring and summer days are the perfect cure to a winter of long underwear and heavy
boots - shorts and sandals are the favorite outfit for many people all summer long (especially kids).
In the summertime, any time is a good time to wear shorts! Any time except one - when you're going to
mow the lawn. Casual dress is simply not appropriate or safe when you're using a lawnmower.
These tips can help keep you safe as you keep your lawn looking neat and tidy:
- Wear boots or heavy shoes whenever you mow the lawn. Never wear sandals or go barefoot.
Steel-toed boots are the safest and any boot or shoe should have sufficient traction and fit properly.
- Wear eye protection. Ideally, you'll have a pair of goggles or safety glasses. While sunglasses
do offer more protection than if your wore nothing at all, they should only be relied on if you don't
have a pair of goggles or safety glasses. The drier your climate or the sandier your mowing area, the
more you should be using proper eye protection.
- Put your shorts on after you're done mowing. Even if you have to sweat a little more while
mowing, you'll want to be sure to wear long pants. Sand, pebbles, small sticks, and other items can
be hurled out from underneath the mower at incredible speeds. You'll be glad that you didn't wear
shorts should your legs ever be hit by one of the flying projectiles.
- Enjoy the sun - to a point. Your cheeks, ears, nose, shoulders, arms, and head are prime
candidates for sunburn so be sure to cover them up. If you're the type that burns easily, be sure to
cover up adequately to avoid overexposure to the sun. It generally takes between 30 - 60 minutes to
mow the average lawn, which is sufficient time to burn sensitive skin - even on cloudy days! Use a
sunscreen to help minimize the risk of sunburn and schedule lawnmowings later in the day once the sun
has lost its intensity (but not too dark, though).
- Get a grip. It's not a bad idea to wear gloves when mowing your lawn. Not only can they reduce
blisters and calluses, but gloves also help you maintain a surer grip on the controls should your
hands sweat while you mow. Wear gloves that are thin enough to allow your hands to breathe and not
so heavy as to get in the way of safe operation of the mower controls.
- Don't dangle. Avoid loose clothing, open jackets, long scarves, or other clothing that could be
accidentally caught in moving parts.
- Plug your ears. Lawnmowers can be very loud and prolonged exposure to them can sometimes lead to
hearing damage. If you are concerned about your hearing, wear safety earmuffs or use expandable foam
earplugs while mowing.
Be careful if you plan on using a portable stereo while mowing the lawn, not only is it possible to
damage your hearing by trying to listen to music at a level higher than that of the mower but it also
can make it much harder to hear sounds that can alert you to possible dangers while mowing
(shouts, sounds of the blade contacting something). Young people and inexperienced operators especially should not be
encouraged to listen to portable music players while using a lawnmower.
Practice safe dressing habits and your next lawnmowing will be a safe one!
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