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Whether you’re a new homeowner maintaining your first lawn or you’re a seasoned professional who does landscaping for a living, safety is always a top priority. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “1,072 work-related fatalities occurred in the landscaping and groundskeeping industry” from 2011-2021.

And those are just fatal injuries; non-fatal injuries (which often go unreported) are exponentially higher. If you don’t want to be one of those statistics, you need to stay vigilant when operating landscaping equipment. Here are five tips to consider when it comes to your outdoor power equipment.

1. Read the Manual

While it seems obvious, reading the manual is a step more and more people skip these days. However, the manual contains essential information about the equipment, including operating instructions, safety guidelines and maintenance requirements. Familiarize yourself with this info—even briefly—before operating machinery to ensure safe and proper usage.

2. Wear Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (also known as PPE) is paramount when working with landscaping equipment. Always use safety goggles, ear protection, gloves and steel-toed boots, as you can prevent injuries from flying debris, loud noises and other landscaping hazards.

3. Inspect Equipment Regularly

Before each use, make sure the landscaping equipment doesn’t have any signs of damage or wear. Injuries are avoidably common when the equipment malfunctions due to a loose bolt, worn-out part or leak. Don’t forget to check that safety guards and shields are in place and functioning properly.

4. Operate Machinery Safely

Again, the manufacturer will provide safety protocols and guidelines you should follow. Additionally, certain organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often publish general guidelines for industries like landscaping where injuries and accidents are common.

5. Get Training and/or Supervision

Anyone operating landscaping equipment needs proper training and supervision when they’re new to the job, equipment or environment. Make sure both you and your team receive instruction on how to use each piece of machinery—preferably from someone who has used it before (whether in person or on video). Additionally, inexperienced operators should be supervised to follow proper procedures and guidelines. This may seem like wasted time, but it significantly reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.

These are just a few tips to consider as you use your landscaping equipment. For more advice and to shop the best outdoor power equipment in Dallas-Fort Worth, stop by one of our locations today.