Doing a landscape project is hard work. It often uses power tools as well. Both of these can be dangerous for your bodily health. Here are some common remedies for your landscaping construction.
Safety Glasses or Face Shield
Any time a power tool is used where bits and pieces go flying, whether it be an angle grinder, a saw, or a trimmer, you should wear something that will protect your face. But how do you know what is enough? Your high school and university lab goggles from chemistry class will be insufficient. They need to be specifically rated for impact resistance. Interestingly you can find plenty of those at a paintball shop. What you are specifically looking for is ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 standard and/or rating. This is a standard that will tell you how much impact your specific gear is going to protect you from. If a chunk of wood or concrete flies at your, you will want to make sure your gear is not going to fail when it matters.
Even prior to Covid, you will have seen many contractors wear what looked like gas masks. 3M sells them. They often come in 2 or 3 components, all of which are needed for it to work comfortably and safely. First you will need the mask apparatus itself. It’s usually a large mask consisting of rubber and plastics that will fit over your face. There are half face masks and full face masks. A full face mask will protect your eyes and possibly save you the hassle of having separate goggles for your eyes.
The second component are the cartridges. The cartridges attach to the sides of mask and contain the actual materials that will filter out the undesirable gasses and/or particulates.
Last are the filters themselves that go inside the cartridges. They are the only component that are consumables, meaning they need to be replaced after a certain amount of use.
Having this set up is extremely important when working with anything related to concrete, mortar, and cement as the particulates are extremely harmful to your health. For that you will want a N95 filter.
When operating most power tools such as leaf blowers, saws, especially if they are gas powered, they can be quite loud. It’s important to protect your ears because the little hairs responsible for detecting sound cannot be healed or repaired once they’ve been destroyed by excessively loud sounds. Therefore any damage is permanent. I recommend the large ear muffs rather than the small ear buds as they offer more protection, last longer, and are more comfortable. They are also great in keeping your ears warm in colder weather.
Cheap work gloves are important in protecting your hands from not just splinters, scratches, and even bruises but also corrosive substances such as any mixture involving cement. They range in both prices and style widely and expensive isn’t always better. In fact the best gloves I’ve found both in comfort and longevity are the cheapest ones.
Work smart not hard is a great motto for this section. If something is too heavy for you, don’t be embarrassed or afraid to use tools. Use a wheelbarrow. Use levers. Take more trips. It’s always better to preserve your body than to rush a job. Slow and steady wins the race here. A trip to the doctor and months of physio helps no one. Ideally use heavy machinery. An excavator and a chain can lift many heavy objects when used properly. Having a buddy helps tremendously. If you have something delivered, have the driver put it as close to your worksite as possible to minimize trips. Use a back brace too.
It’s all about being smart.