How to Operate Hedge Trimmers Safely


Hedge Trimmers Safely Guide

Hedge trimmers are some of the most essential gardening tools to maintain and shape shrubbery and hedges, to beautify the garden and add a touch of sophistication and class. Electric and gasoline hedge trimmers are heavy and powerful for use in dense hedges, while the electric ones are light and less powerful for small tasks. Regardless of the intricacies of the trimming task, you should use your hedge trimmer in the safest manner possible in order to avoid severe accidents.

Pre-operation Safety measures

The tough design of hedge trimmers enables them to cut through thick branches. They are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits by home owners. As such, the first step before handling a hedge trimmer should be reading the manual to learn about precautionary measures recommended by the manufacturer.

The second step should be a thorough inspection of the hedge trimmer. Check the nuts, bolts, spark plug boot and switch to familiarize yourself with the adjustments of the equipment like the cutting angle or other modifications. Also fill the tank with the correct fuel as instructed by the manufacturer, and clean the handles so that your gloves do not slip during operation.

Third, lubricate the hedge trimmer for easier operation and long life of the blade. You should lubricate again after use.

Site-Assessment Safety Measures

Before you begin trimming your hedge, examine the work area and remove any metal posts, toys, cords, hidden wires and other items that may trip you or interfere with the cutting process. Remove rocks if trimming close to the ground. It is also advisable to delay any trimming tasks if the ground is slippery, or the hedge is wet.

Safe Operation of Hedge Trimmers

First, ensure that all people and animals maintain a distance of at least 50ft from the area where the hedge trimmer is in use.

Secondly, wear personal protection equipment including hearing protection, dust mask, safety glasses, and heavy duty, non-slip gloves.

Thirdly, use proper clothing for the task, which include long pants and work boots or any other sturdy shoes. You should never wear short pants or loose fitting clothing.

Cutting Tips

Always trim below your head. When trimming high hedges, use a long ladder that will prevent you from overreaching, as this may cause you to stumble. Secondly, only operate the hedge trimmer when there is adequate lighting, and make sure to switch it off and keep it away from easy reach of children when taking breaks.

It is recommended that you only use a hedge trimmer for branches and twigs with a thickness of less than 3/8 of an inch. In addition, always start from the side that is closest to the power supply so that the power cord is always behind you, and keep your fingers away from the blade.

When you are done trimming, clear the work area by removing all debris. Clean the equipment, lubricate it, store fuel safely, and use red tags appropriately.

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