Fall clean-up: be proactive!

With winter quickly approaching, many are in a rush to get their yard work done before the cold weather really settles in. Whether you are going to be raking leaves or climbing up a ladder to clean the eavestroughs, you should know that yard work involves a certain level of danger. So before you begin your fall clean-up, think safety first!

With winter quickly approaching, many are in a rush to get their yard work done before the cold weather really settles in. Whether you are going to be raking leaves or climbing up a ladder to clean the eavestroughs, you should know that yard work involves a certain level of danger. So before you begin your fall clean-up, think safety first!

Last year, accidental falls from ladders were the cause of more than half a million injuries in the United States. Here are a few safety tips to remember when you are working on a ladder: · Make sure your ladder is suitable to the task at hand. · Always place the ladder on a firm, levelled surface. · Before climbing a ladder, make sure all locks and safety mechanisms are engaged. · Before using your ladder, make sure all screws, hinges and rungs are in good working order. Clean off any accumulated mud and dirt. · Do not lean or stretch to reach your work area. Instead, climb down and reposition your ladder correctly.

Even though the yearly chore of raking leaves can be quite exhausting, it can also be the source of a number of injuries. Be proactive: · Use a rake that is suited to your height and strength. You should also think of wearing gloves to prevent blisters and calluses. · Make sure you alternate the position of your arms and legs often in order to use all of your limbs equally. · When you are lifting a bag of leaves, keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not at the waist! · Do not overfill leaf bags, particularly when the leaves are wet. You should be able to carry the bags comfortably. · As raking leaves is a vigorous exercise, you should warm up, by walking briskly for example, at least 10 minutes before you start. You should also make sure you stretch well before and after raking.

Are you hesitating to take on these strenuous chores yourself? Don't hesitate to delegate or hire professionals who can do the work for you! There is no need to risk injuring yourself simply to get your yard ready for winter.

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