Whether you have a green thumb, or you just want to get out of the house to do something productive, a little yard work could be the perfect pastime. But before you dig in, check off these safety steps.

♦ Mowings: Make sure no children are in the yard before mowing the lawn, and never allow children to ride on the mower.

♦ Gardening: Garden hoses can be a tripping hazard, so always watch your step when working in the yard.

♦ Power Tools: When using trimmers, edgers, or chainsaws, always read and follow the instructions in the owner’s manual to ensure that you are using tools correctly and safely.

Lawn Mower Safety: Although homeowners generally use walk-behind power lawnmowers to cut their grass, many residents with large lawns have come to rely on riding mowers to maintain the yard while you’re mowing. Children should never ride on a mower as a passenger. Additionally, before you start mowing, pick up objects like stones, branches and toys, which potentially could become flying objects if you run over them. Dress appropriately for the job: sturdy shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, eye protection, heavy gloves, and hearing protection, when needed. Do not mow in reverse, unless absolutely necessary, and always look down and behind you before and while going in reverse.

Gardening: Before you start beautifying your landscape, make sure to wear protective clothing, like gardening gloves, long pants and well -build shoes to protect you from cuts and injuries. Every garden needs some water, so be mindful about where you place the watering hose to avoid trips and falls.

Power Tools: Your yardwork may include the use of power tools, Carefully inspect your tools before use, and do not use if damaged—worn wiring, motors, or other electrical parts can pose a shock or fire hazard. Plug corded power tools into a ground fault circuit protected receptacle or a portable GFCI, and avoid using corded power tools in wet or damp conditions. Never carry power tools by the cord, and protect cords from damage. When using battery-powered tools, only use the battery and charger provided by the manufacturer. Protect yourself, wear snug clothing, and remove jewelry that could get caught in tools. In addition, wear the appropriate eye protection (safety goggles, glasses, and face shields) to protect your eyes from flying debris. Always keep hands away from moving parts. Extreme caution is required when operating a chainsaw. Never cut over your head (kickback can land the chainsaw into your face or shoulder). Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on safe use.

To report a dangerous product or a product related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov.

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