As part of your job in landscaping, you handle, use and work around herbicides and pesticides. While these products are very effective in repelling pests, they can also pose serious health hazards. The good news is you can prevent exposure to yourself and others by following these simple safety guidelines.
Read the Label
If a chemical is new to you, always read the full product label to learn about safe and proper use.
- If the label warns against exposure to the eyes, lungs, skin or clothing, wear the right gear to protect your body.
- Follow the directions on the label regarding how to apply the product and what equipment must be used.
- Notice the first-aid instructions in case of an accidental poisoning.
- Follow directions regarding how to store and dispose of the product after usage.
Protect Yourself and Others
Your best line of defense against exposure to chemicals is wearing the right protective clothing for the job. This typically includes a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, non-absorbent gloves (no leather or fabric), rubber boots (no canvas or leather), a hat, eye protection, a mask, an apron, face respirators and/or dust mist filters. Also:
- Check your clothing for defects and holes before wearing it while handling chemicals.
- Do not smoke, eat, drink, apply cosmetics or use the restroom directly following or while you are using herbicides and pesticides.
- Be mindful of where other people are located when applying chemicals.
- Do not use herbicides and pesticides when winds are stronger than 10 mph to avoid blowing the chemicals to unwanted areas or onto other workers or passersby.
- Post signs when you spray an area, so others who visit the building are aware.
- After application, rinse your tools and equipment three times. Then pour the rinse water into the pesticide container.
- During application, chemicals may settle on you and your clothing, and can be carried into your vehicle and your home. Immediately wash areas of your body that came in contact with the product, and shower promptly after completing cleanup and storage procedures.
- Assume that clothing used while working with pesticides and herbicides has been contaminated, so take the following precautions:
- Always remove contaminated gear prior to leaving the worksite.
- Place clothing in a plastic bag and wash it separately from your street clothes.
- Boots, gloves and goggles used at the application site also need to be cleaned prior to leaving the site.
Storage and Disposal
- Keep all chemicals in the original manufacturer’s container.
- When chemicals are not in use, store them in designated areas only.
- Disposal requires special handling. Check the label and follow our safe handling procedures. If you don’t know how to dispose of something safely, ask before you toss it! Improper handling is bad for the environment, and poses fire and health hazards.
Above all, always be smart as you apply or spray. Employee safety is ’s top priority, so we expect you to do your part in following all safety procedures when working with herbicides and pesticides.
If you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer service for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.