Living on the Edge: The Dangers of Yard Work

Yark work
Is your yard work putting you in danger?

You avoid yard work. Why? Secretly, do you think that it’s dangerous? While the perils of yard work probably aren’t the reason that you’re avoiding cleaning out those gutters or raking those leaves, some yard work does involve risks. If you have limited mobility or have small children in your home, it’s particularly important to consider whether certain tasks are within your abilities and how to make them just a little bit easier.

Why Shoveling that Snow is Living on the Edge

Shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and cleaning out gutters: these tasks seem mundane, but according to the Harvard Medical School, sudden extreme exercise such as pushing a snowblower or shoveling heavy snow leads to heart attacks every winter. While it’s not the snow that’s the problem, people who don’t often exercise can have trouble no matter what the sudden exercise might be: in this case, it just happens to be snow.

The same goes for activities such as pruning trees and cleaning gutters. These activities don’t involve heavy lifting, but they do involve dexterity and balance in high places. If you’re not used to being on a ladder, it can be dangerous to try and balance there while you’re holding wet handfuls of leaves or squeezing pruning shears around a branch.

Yard work
If pruning seems perilous, remember to practice good ladder safety.

Tackling the Risks

What’s a homeowner to do? You can tackle the risks of yard work by making those tasks safer for you. If you choose to shovel your snow, you might warm up beforehand or do some gentle pre-snow-season workouts. These will help get you ready for winter sports as well: tobogganing, anyone? If you’re not up for shoveling, hire someone else to shovel your snow, rake your leaves, or do other tasks that involve a lot of bending, lifting, and other exertion.

When you’re doing tasks that involve standing on a ladder, you can mitigate the risk by following ladder safety rules. Wear shoes that have a good grip, wear gloves to prevent hand injuries, and have someone hold the ladder so that you’re less likely to tip and fall. Watch for electrical wires near trees and your house when you’re working on a ladder.

Lawn mowing can also be dangerous, especially when you have small children around. Wear protective gear such as closed-toed shoes and protective eyewear and clear the area of rocks and sticks before you mow. Make sure that children are far from the mower so that debris that’s moved by the mower doesn’t fly up and hurt them.

Making Yard Work Manageable

Install landscaping and home structures that will help make your yard work easier. For example, a gutter guard will stop leaves from falling in your gutters, and the water continues to run clear. When you don’t need to worry about getting up on a ladder, you can focus on other gardening tasks such as planting your perennials or beautifying your front walkway.

You’re trying to make your garden beautiful, but you don’t need to suffer for beauty. Be safe and make your yard work easier by installing gutter guards on your gutters. Contact Harry Helmet today to learn more about our Gutter Helmet and Helmet Heat products.

Written by Del Thebaud

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