Landscaping - Grass Trimmers and Brush Cutters
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- What are some general tips when using grass trimmers and brush cutters?
- What clothing and gear should I wear when using grass trimmers and brush cutters?
- How do I safely use grass trimmers and brush cutters?
- What should I avoid when using grass trimmers and brush cutters?
- What are some tips when using leaf blowers?
Make sure that you are trained in the proper use of grass trimming and brush cutting equipment. Rotating cutting tools can throw objects or cut the operator.
- Read, understand, and follow instructions in the manufacturer's operating manual.
- Hold the unit firmly with both hands.
- Ensure that the cutting part is adjusted properly and is tight.
- Replace bent, warped, damaged or dull cutting apparatus.
- Check that the throttle springs back to idle position.
- Select equipment with anti-vibration components.
There are many tips in other Landscaping OSH Answers documents.
- sturdy and well-fitting overalls, jeans or long pants,
- heavy-duty, non-slip gloves,
- safety boots with non-slip soles,
- safety goggles, or face screen and safety glasses, and
- hearing protection (muffs or plugs).
- Make sure that shields, guards, and other safety devices are in place and working properly.
- Replace or tighten all loose or damaged parts or guards.
- Make sure muffler is in good condition. In dry weather, use a fire-safe muffler.
- Keep people away from starting and operating areas.
- Clear the work area of stones, glass, metal and debris.
- Refuel the engine before starting work while the engine is cool. If refuelling is required before the job is completed, wait for the engine to cool.
- If using an electric grass trimmer, follow applicable electrical safety procedures described in the OSH Answers document, Powered Hand Tools - Electric Tools- Basic Safety.
- Start the unit on firm ground or other solid surfaces in an open area.
- Maintain good balance and a secure footing when operating.
- Adjust harness and hand grip to suit work positions.
- Use unit at ground level only.
- Shut off engine before cleaning out clogged or stuck brush cutter.
- Stop the engine before putting the brush cutter down.
- Disconnect the spark plug when the equipment is left unattended.
- Secure cutter to prevent fuel spillage and damage during transport.
- Keep the brush cutter tool covered with the carrying guard.
- Do not leave operating equipment unattended.
- Do not wear short pants or short sleeves.
- Do not use rigid blades in stony areas.
- Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times.
- Do not repair damaged attachments - discard them.
Leaf blowers can throw objects which can be hazardous to both the operator and others.
- Always plan your work before using a leaf blower. Clear the area of all people, pets and objects from around your work area (have a safety circle of approximately 10 metres or 30 feet around you).
- Always wear eye protection when operating a leaf blower even small stones can blind a person.
- Hearing protection is recommended.
- Always wear respiratory protection in dusty or dirty areas, or where dampness and decay may have created conditions for mould growth. Mould spores are an inhalation hazard.
- Always start and run the unit in an upright position.
- Never operate the leaf blower without the tubing.
- Always direct the debris away from people, animals, glass and solid objects that could cause the debris to rebound or ricochet.
- Never use the blower to spread or mist chemicals, fertilizers or other toxic substances.
- Never use the blower from ladders, trees, rooftops or other unstable surfaces.
- Fact sheet confirmed current: 2022-05-31
- Fact sheet last revised: 2022-05-31