Landscapers are exposed to a variety of dangers daily. They face extreme weather, hazardous machinery, and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Proper training is essential to preventing accidents from these dangers. Exposure to chemicals is one of the most dangerous parts of being a landscaper. What makes chemical exposure so dangerous is the different ways landscapers can be exposed to them. Chemicals can be inhaled and come in contact with the skin. Safe chemical handling training is a must for any landscape fleet. Safe chemical usage in landscaping can help prevent accidents and sickness down the road.
5 Tips on Safe Chemical Usage in Landscaping
- Always read labels. Chemical and pesticide labels always have the necessary information for you to find out key facts. The labels include information on the following; trade name, where the substance can be used, how much to use, when to apply, and required clothing and protective gear. Always make sure your fleet knows how to properly read the information on these labels.
- Only use appropriate containers for mixing and measuring chemicals. Never use containers that will be used for any other purpose such as food or beverage handling. Also, when mixing, only mix the amount you will be using for that application. Make sure mixing always occurs in a ventilated area.
- Always use the appropriate safety equipment. Specific safety equipment will be listed on the chemical safety label. To ensure you have the proper equipment on hand, make sure you have the following, safety glasses, rubber gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long sleeved pants, and rubber boots.
- Store the chemicals properly and safely. Follow the instructions on the label as to how to store chemicals safely. You’ll also want to keep the chemicals stored in their original containers. Lock the chemicals in a ventilated cabinet where they can’t be accessed by children or pets. Don’t stockpile chemicals; only buy what you need for the applications. Keep different chemicals on separate shelves or in different areas. This will prevent spills and accidents in the future from overcrowding. Also, never store chemicals near grills, heaters, or items that may cause a chemical fire.
- Be aware of where you are using the chemicals. Don’t use the chemicals near wells, streams, or lakes. Make sure the windows and doors of buildings are closed when applying pesticides and chemicals. This will lessen the chance of exposure.