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Stay safe this summer as you head out to work

By Courtney Taylor

Wearing shorts, high-tops, and a t-shirt my brother Kolby has his iPod in his pocket and is all set to head out the door. No he’s not heading to the basketball court (though he’ll probably end up there later), he’s heading out to the mow the grass at his best client’s large property.


Kolby has been mowing Mrs. Ford’s yard for the past five years or so. He occasionally takes on other clients as he is referred often by Mrs. Ford because of his good work and friendly personality. He also works fast and gets it all done in one go, even if the weather is hot.

My brother has common sense and stays out of trouble but sometimes I swear he thinks he’s a superhero and can do anything. Sometimes that can lead him to not thinking about his safety first when he’s out mowing.

But what if, because he has headphones in and music is blaring, he doesn’t hear an approaching child or animal? Or he mows over a sharp rock that spits back at his bare legs? Or even worse, he loses his footing while maneuvering the mower in a ditch and his foot slips under the blades?

These are all possibilities and could happen to anyone. So if you’re landscaping this summer, or making a few extra bucks by mowing your neighbour’s lawn, here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Wear high-cut, CSA certified safety footwear with toe caps and reinforced, non-skid soles.
  • Wear hearing protection devices (e.g., ear muffs, ear plugs) that provide appropriate protection from noise produced by the equipment you’re using.
  • Protect yourself from the sun —use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and re-apply often. Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses that filter out at least 90% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Consider wearing lightweight long pants (vs. shorts) and long-sleeved shirts. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take regular rest breaks inside and drink plenty of water. Frequent short pauses are better than longer breaks further apart.
  • Save listening to music for your breaks instead of while operating lawn mowers and other dangerous equipment.

As for my brother, I know a mowing accident could really change his life—and my family’s. I’ll be passing along some of these safety tips to him so that he can keep playing soccer and joining his friends on the basketball court. By passing on these safety tips I hope it helps him to work smarter so he can stay safe.

2 Responses to “Stay safe this summer as you head out to work”

  1. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

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