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Landscaping Tools

Tool selection/maintenance:

· Select the tool that is most suitable for you to do the task safely.

· Use spark-resistant tools if working near highly flammable materials (gas, liquid or vapor).

· Inspect your tools daily - make sure that tools are in good repair.

· Ensure all guards and shields for your equipment are in place, and are properly maintained.

· Ensure that handles are tight and fastened securely. Repair or replace worn or damaged handles. Make sure that the handle surfaces are smooth and sliver-free.

· Keep cutting tools and equipment sharp. Dull tools are more hazardous than sharp ones.

· Protect the cutting edges of the tools and equipment. Store tools and equipment, especially  if they are transported regularly from job to job, in a way that prevents the cutting edges from being dulled or damaged.

· Label damaged tools and remove them from the work site.


Use:

· It's important to keep a secure footing and your balance when using tools.  Stand on a non-slippery surface and in a non-cluttered area.

· Use tools on a stable work surface. Use a vice or clamps to stabilize your work if necessary.

· Work in a well-lit area.

· Direct saw blades, knives, etc. away from co-workers working nearby.

· Avoid standing in awkward positions. Avoid unnecessary strains on your wrists, arms, shoulders and/or back from poorly designed tools.

· Give yourself enough space to work and keep your body at a comfortable angle to the work. Adjust the tool position or the angle of the work surface to minimize bending, reaching or twisting.

· Carry tools properly.

· When using a tool belt, but don't make it too heavy causing strain on your lower back and hips. Carry only what is necessary for that particular task.

· Block machinery securely so it cannot roll or shift when repairs are being made.

· Use a piece of cardboard to test hydraulic hoses for leaks. Always shut off the engine before servicing a hydraulic system.

· Never inspect hydraulic hoses with your bare hands. Even pinhole leaks have enough force to penetrate skin with hydraulic fluid. Get medical attention immediately if this happens.

Storage:

· Put tools away when the job is finished. Removing dirt and ensuring they are dry will help prevent tools from rusting.

· Store tools and equipment in a safe, organized manner so that workers can access them easily and without injury. If stored in a truck, van, etc., they should be stored securely so they do not fall or shift position during transport.

· While tools are not in use, place them where other workers cannot be hurt by them. (For example, do not leave rakes on the ground with the tines pointing up. Do not leave tools on a ladder or scaffold.)
 

Safety Tips Provided by: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety