Spring Yardwork and Construction Safety Tips from Sheff Law

For many, spring is a time of celebration and relaxation. The weather is warmer, outdoor activities begin and many people resume yardwork, do-it-yourself construction projects and other outdoor work projects. While springtime can be one of the best times of the year at our law firm in Boston and around the country, many personal injuries occur when people fail to take proper safety precautions while working or enjoying activities outside.

If you’re planning on working outside this spring, take the following precautions to ensure that you stay safe, healthy and happy well into summer and beyond:

Watch Out for Rain and Lightning

Rainstorms and driving wind present obvious dangers for workers, but even brief spring showers can lead to unenviable work conditions. Be wary of slippery surfaces that can lead to slip-and-fall injuries as well as cold exposure during and after spring rainstorms, and pay extra attention to live wires and the potential for lightning strikes. Additionally, consider that operating heavy equipment can be more difficult in wet conditions.

Beware of the Barbecue

Getting to barbecue outside is again is one of the hallmarks of spring for many people who endure cold winters. As you get ready to barbecue again, ensure that your grill hasn’t suffered any damage and check connection hoses on gas grills for leaks. Keep grills away from wooden decks and from the side of your home, and always supervise your grill while it’s in use. If you’re using a gas grill, be sure to store propane away from your grill and outside of your home. If you’re using charcoal, do not add lighter fluid once the coals have been lit.

Pay Attention During Yardwork

Every year, more than 60,000 people are treated for lawn-mower related injuries, and an additional 50,000-plus people sustain injuries from equipment such as trimmers, pruners, power saws and lawn edgers. Before you begin work, remember to wear protective clothing and to inspect your equipment before you use it. Rake your yard before you mow to prevent stones from launching in the air, and do not use lawn mowers in wet conditions. Finally, be smart when refilling gasoline-powered mowers; don’t spill gasoline on a hot engine and do not smoke while pouring gasoline.

Be Safe When Using Ladders

Many springtime outdoor projects involve the use of ladders, whether you’re cleaning out your gutters, working on a construction site, trimming trees or painting your home. When you use a ladder, ensure that it is set up properly and set firmly on even ground. Be sure that you are using a ladder of an appropriate height, do not stand on a ladder’s bucket shelf and avoid using a metal ladder near electrical sources. If you fall off a ladder, you can suffer from dislocated limbs, broken bones and traumatic brain injury, so be sure to use extra caution.

A man reaches dangerously over the top of a ladder to paint trim on a house

Douglas Sheff Speaks at Workers Memorial Day Commemoration
Airborne Manhole Cover Kills Driver on Southeast Expressway in Boston