Being a Safe Worker

July 29, 2014

When you’re out on the road and doing physical work, it’s easy to get hurt. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe:

Before you start the day:

  • Being a healthy employee comes first. Eating a proper diet to ensure you have the energy to perform the duties of walking dozens of yards and up and down hills/stairs is key. You also want to make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and keeping your fluid intake high. You definitely want to increase drinking water during the warm/hot months by keeping water bottles close at hand immediately after a job.
  • Get plenty of rest. Driving a spray rig involves a lot of driving and maneuvering of equipment. Ensuring you’re not fatigued and have the energy and alertness to operate the vehicle will keep you and others safe.
  • Be sure to stretch daily (before and after the job) to keep from straining overworked muscles. Some of this equipment can be quite heavy and cause wear and tear on your joints. Make sure you can handle the heavy load and keep your endurance up throughout the day’s work.
  • Wear the right equipment and attire: Gloves, goggles and the correct footwear (steel toe boots). Also wear light colored, cotton clothing, long sleeved shirts and a hat to keep unwanted contact with the elements (sun, pests and hazardous plants and chemicals).

During jobs:

  • Be sure to always wear a seat belt while operating the vehicle. Also, keep music at a low to normal volume so that you can hear emergency vehicles or other sounds on the road around you.
  • Exit the vehicle with the three-point contact system. Three limbs must have contact before exiting the rig. Do not just slide off the seat or jump out. This also includes jumping off the bed or back of the truck.
  • Before you start the job, if the customer has a pet, make sure the animal is secured before entering the property.
  • Observe where you’re walking so you don’t make the wrong move and twist an ankle or knee. This includes looking out for uneven surfaces on the property (Gopher holes, dips, steps, sink holes, etc.). Also look for other protruding hazards in the area (tree limbs, branches, thorny bushes, etc.).
  • Be aware of what could be in the yard such as snakes, ticks, bees, wasps in addition to poisonous plants such as poison ivy, oak, sumac, hemlock and stinging nettle.
  • Be careful spraying the chemicals, especially up in the air. Be observant of how the wind is blowing. You want to avoid spraying in your eyes or face or spray chemical in someone else’s face.

A hurt owner or employee does not work and does not earn income. Keep these safety tips in mind when driving the rig and performing jobs to ensure happy, productive, healthy and prosperous employees.

*photo credit: Seattle Department of Transportation via photopin cc