August 20th, 2013

As we approach the hottest part of the summer, your garden may be exploding with fresh produce, flowers, or… weeds.  As you set out to enjoy the fruits of your labor, or pull weeds, make safety a part of your routine.


•  Powered and unpowered tools can cause serious injury.

•  Sharpen any bladed tools.  Dull tools can be more dangerous than sharp ones.

•  Follow the instructions and perform all recommended maintenance.

•  Check online and with the manufacturer for equipment recalls.

•  While using the equipment, focus on the task at hand.  Look for hazards, such as rocks and other debris that could be thrown, injuring you or someone else.

•  When using powered machinery, wear eye protection, long pants, and sturdy shoes.

•  Wear earplugs while the machine is running.  If you cannot hear someone speaking at a normal voice within arm’s length, the sound may be harmful.


•  While working, always wear gloves to protect yourself from harmful plants, cuts, and chemicals.

•  Apply insect repellant containing DEET to keep away disease causing mosquitos and ticks.  Permethrin can also be applied to clothing for additional protection.  Wear long pants and sleeves if temperature permits.  High boots can also help since ticks are usually closer to the ground.

•  Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and high SPF sunscreen on exposed skin to avoid sunburn.


•  Be mindful of your limits and how you feel.

•  Some factors make people more susceptible to the effects of heat, including: under 4 and over 65 years of age, certain medical conditions, and medications.  If in doubt, talk to your doctor.

•  Signs of heat-related illness include: headache, muscle soreness, breathlessness, rapid pulse, nausea, dizziness, and confusion.

•  Drink water often, especially if you are sweating a lot.

•  Take regular breaks in the shade, and don’t push yourself too hard.