The sun is shining. A cool breeze keeps the temperature reasonable. You’re sitting out on the patio watching the children playing in the back yard while you’re practically melting into your cushioned seat, a glass of lemonade close by and music playing from that really cool speaker shaped like a rock you bought last summer. It’s the start of the weekend, and work is days away. It can’t get any better!
But whether you’re relaxing or tackling that big outdoor project you’ve been putting off since last summer, your backyard can actually be a pretty dangerous place if you don’t prepare and protect yourself.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe and sound while you take in the great outdoors.
Few things can ruin any outdoor activity quicker than bugs. Mosquitoes can cause more than just annoying, itchy bites. Some of these blood suckers carry disease. In the past several years, many parts of the country have seen a rise in Lyme disease from tick bites.
If you’re going to be working in woody areas, tall grass or other natural (unmanicured) areas, help protect yourself from these nasty insects by wearing long pants. And while it might not be fashion forward, tuck the ends of your pant legs into your socks. Be sure to spray yourself with a product that contains DEET.
Wear Protective Gear
No matter what job your plan to tackle, make sure you have the right personal protective equipment. For any construction project make sure you have gloves, protective eyewear, a hat, sunscreen, and any other equipment appropriate for your specific job.
Make sure children and pets are out of the area before you begin work, too.
Clean the area of any debris — rocks, sticks, garbage — anything that could cause injury. That material and any other waste from your project are a good fit for a Bin There Dump That bin. Make sure, especially if you’re using power tools, that none of your clothing dangles. Accidents happen quickly.
Know Your Surroundings (Above and Below)
With any project safety is the first step. Whether you’re climbing a ladder or digging into the earth, know what you’re getting into. Touching overhead power lines can really ruin your day. Rupturing a pipe or splitting buried wiring can cause far huge problems that could be prevented with a little care.
Start by checking your surroundings. See if there are any wires strung anywhere near your work area.
Things buried underground are a little tougher, but most communities have an information line (often 8-1-1) that can provide you with the information you need to work safely.
Worry About the Weather
Spring and summer are ideal for working outdoors. The temperatures are often ideal. But thunderstorms can arise quickly. Lighting can be a killer, and just because the storm isn’t overhead doesn’t mean you have nothing to worry about.
Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the storm. As a general rule, if you can hear thunder, you’re within 10 miles — within the danger zone. Put the ladder and tools away. The project can wait another day. On particularly warm days make sure to stay hydrated.
Use Proper Tools
Having the right tools for the project is critical. Using the proper tool for a given job helps prevent damage and injury. Power tools, too, make the job easier. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security — and that’s the most likely time for an accident to happen.
Make sure you unplug any power tools before you walk away from them, even if it is only for a moment.
Know Your Limits
Few things are as dangerous as overconfidence. Getting a job done is encouraging, but getting cocky about your abilities can lead to injury. (There is a difference between pruning bushes and pruning trees.)
We’ve all seen the videos of people standing on a ladder that is resting against the branch they are sawing. We laugh when they fall, hoping they don’t end up in the hospital.
If your project involves chemicals make sure you handle them properly. Read the instruction manual and the labels before getting started.
If you don’t understand or don’t have the right tools to handle the material, get help — either hired, more experienced or just an extra set of hands.
Perhaps the most important tip is simply stay alert. Surroundings change. A child or pet might wander into the area. Sudden summer storms pop up on an unusually hot day. Periodically check the area around you. Know where you are and what’s going on around you.
Clean Up Every Night
Finally, clean up your workspace at the end of the day — every day. We suggest a right-sized rental dumpster to keep all that mess and debris contained!
To learn how a Bin There Dump That can help you with your next project, visit our website.