November 15, 2011

Safety First

Accidents can happen, and they are no fun

Whenever you work with any type of machinery you are always putting yourself at some kind of risk. Accidents happen all the time. Maybe you miss the nail and hammer your thumb instead; sometimes you make big mistakes and end up losing a finger to a table saw. It happens everyday, which is why it is so important to practice safety when doing yard work and other chores.

I speak from experience

My wife loves Christmas. She loves Christmas so much that we already have our tree up and the inside of our house decorated in red and green and glitter.. so much glitter.
It is our second Christmas together and she is pretty excited about it. I don't mind the idea of decorating early because I really do like to enjoy it. I think it would be silly to decorate one week and then take it all down the next.. But the 2nd week in November is a little early.

So Saturday, I was getting ready to put the lights up on the house. We have two really tall hedges that needed trimming so I got out the electric trimmer and the ladder.
Long story short, I wasn't very careful about how I situated the ladder and while I was way up high trimming away, the ladder started to tip and in effort to balance it out, I threw my arm up into the air and doing so ran two of my fingers straight into the electric hedge trimmer.
The good thing is, I did not fall off the ladder and the cuts did not hit any bone or any serious nerves. I rushed to the ER and got all stitched up and am now attempting to type with two throbbing fingers. Not fun.

Lesson Learned

The important thing is that I learned my lesson.
  1. NEVER climb onto a ladder until it is sturdy, level and certain not to fall, tip, or even wobble
  2. Never under-estimate the danger of a hedge trimmer, or any tool for that matter. Be especially cautious of it and it's surroundings
  3. Have a COMPLETE First Aid Kit in the house. (At the time of the accident, we had TWO First Aid Kits but no Gauze!! None at all! Gauze is important, as is being totally prepared for the absolute worst
  4. Listen to my wife. I insisted I did not have to go to the Hospital. I told her all we need is some gauze and super glue (I've heard stories where guys just super glued their nasty wounds and turned out just fine). Well, after much debate and driving all over the place, we ended up just going to the ER.. And it was a dang good thing we did. We should have done that in the first place.
    • If you are bleeding pretty bad, don't mess around and just get to the hospital. First, you should always have insurance (Obama is making it easier for more people to have it so you have no excuse). Having the hospital and certified people involved will ensure that the wound heals properly.

More Safety Tips to Consider

  • Never wear headphones, especially if you are mowing or weedeating by a road.
  • Make sure that all foreign objects are picked up and Orbit lawn sprinklers are pushed down and out of the way, so that you do not run over these items.
  • Never mow up a steep embankment. It is actually safer to weedeat all embankments.
  • Never attempt to perform any mechanical work on a mower when the mower or weedeater is on.
  • Always wear good, sturdy shoes when mowing your yard or weedeating.
  • Wear safety glasses, if you are going to be using a weedeater.
  • Read the safety instructions that came with your lawnmower/weedeater.
  • Speak to your children about lawnmower/weedeater safety, if they are going to be mowing/weedeating or outside when you are mowing/weedeating.
  • Take all the proper safety preparations and precautions before beginning your chores.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

1 comment:

  1. You are a lucky man you didn't loose your fingers. Glad to see you can still type. Just checking out your blog and I am liking the personal style of writing. Keep it up.

    Richard Murphy
    The Lawn Blog