Eye Protection

The next item is safety glasses. You want to make sure that you're wearing either goggles or safety glasses to protect your eyes from grass clippings, mulch, rocks, or other types of landscaping debris. The safety glasses can be protection in front as well as on the sides. These are not interchangeable with regular sun shades. There are safety glasses that come with UV absorbent lenses to give you protection from the sun's glare but you want to make sure that you use safety glasses because of the front and side protection.

Ear Protection

When working in noisy conditions, there might be people using lawnmowers, or different equipment that brings alot of noise to the workplace. Employees should be wearing hearing protection in those conditions. Hector is wearing earmuffs. That is one type of hearing protection and the other type is earplugs, which Elvis is going to demonstrate for us how to correctly insert earplugs. First, he is taking his gloves off because it can get dirty and you don't want to get that on your personal protective equipment. Also he keeps his hearing protection in a little pouch which keeps them clean in the pocket when they're not in use. To insert the plug in the left ear, Elvis is going to hold the plug with the left hand and reach across the top of his head with the right hand just holding the top of the ear slightly and then raising the ear to make that opening more accessible to be able to insert that plug correctly. And then he'll go ahead and insert it so he gets a nice snug fit with that earplug. And then on the other side, he's going to do the same thing. Hold the plug in the right hand, and then reach across with the left, hold the top of the ear and just raise the ear a little so that you can get the opening accessible to be able to insert. And then he'll just insert the plug.

Foot Protection

You should be wearing sturdy work boots like Hector is wearing with traction under the soles to help prevent slipping and falling when you're working in wet or muddy conditions.

Hand Protection

Gloves are important for protecting your hands from blisters or splinters that can happen when working in landscaping and cloth gloves give us the cushion when carrying heavy loads.

Leg Protection

You want to make sure you're also wearing long pants like Hector and Otis are wearing that protects your legs from scratches, from shrubs or tree branches and also protects you from too much exposure to the sun.

Lifting

The next thing we want to demonstrate is correct lifting posture. First, they're using the buddy system, that's the first thing that two persons are doing the lift instead of just one person lifting something heavy. Now what they don't want to do is what I'm showing which is to bend over at the waist which causes strain on the back. What they're going to do is the correct method which is to bend at the knees, engage the legs, and help with lifting and they're utilizing manual equipment like a wheel barrow, or they can use a handcart to help travel a distance with the load. And then again using the buddy system and bending at the knees to empty the load.

Shoveling

You don't want to shovel and then twist the body to empty the load or dump the load. You want to do what Michael and Mallory are going to demonstrate which is to shovel your load and then move the feet. The entire body should walk in the direction of where you're dumping. So instead of doing this twisting motion that can cause injury to the back, they're actually moving their feet in the direction where they're going to dump the load.

Sun and Hydration

Working in the heat - especially because you are going to be exerting yourselves - your body temperature is going to rise pretty quickly, so we want our students to understand that they should be taking frequent breaks while working in hot conditions: going into the shade to make sure you cool off, using hats with visors, hats with visors or hats that completely shade the body. Any exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen - the face, the arms. And also, you want to make sure you hydrate yourself because of the potential of dehydration. So, we want our students to practice an important aspect of working in the heat which is having plenty of water and making sure you drink plenty of water. So, what are we going to do when working in hot conditions? Drink a lot of water.