Safety Tips for Raking Leaves
It’s official – autumn has arrived! And, I think most of us can agree that the changing leaves are beautiful on the trees but troublesome on the ground. Raking leaves can be hard work and an excellent form of exercise, but the task also poses risk of injury. If you’ll be raking fallen leaves, consider these important safety tips:
- As with any exercise program, stretch gently before starting and cool down when finished.
- If you have a history of heart disease, remember to take frequent breaks and go slowly.
- If it is a warm, sunny day, use sun block and stay hydrated.
- Select a rake with the right height handle, and use proper posture while raking.
- Do not twist, but rather bend from the waist, with knees slightly bent.
- Switch the handle from side to side frequently.
- To avoid back strain, do not overfill bags of leaves. Do not sling the bag over one shoulder, but rather pull gently along the grass.
- Prevent falls by wearing skid-resistant footwear, and clean up all tools after use.
- Keep your visual field free of blockages so you can see low hanging branches and items on the ground.
- If you have allergies, wear a mask. Wet dark leaves can harbor mold spores that become airborne when raking.
- It is best to bag or compost leaves as burning releases harmful products.