Lops, hand-held shears, pole pruners, and hand pruning saws are some of the equipment that can be used for pruning. Many of these tools have pinch points and sharp edges. Injuries that can happen while pruning include slips, falls, lacerations, head/eye injuries, shoulder/back strains, and repetitive motion injuries. This blog entails some suggestions to lower the possibility of accidents during this year's pruning activities.
But, First Things First
- Put on safety gear to provide a barrier between you and the saw blade. This entails robust clothing, preferably leather, long sleeves, full-length pants, and eye protection.
- Always wear a hard hat when operating above your head, such as when using a pole pruner. In addition to knocking you out cold, a falling branch has the potential to sever your skull.
- Make sure the pruning saw blade is sharp and securely secured to the handle. A dull tool may be more dangerous than a sharp one. This is crucial for folding hand pruning saws since repeated use can cause the pivot point to loosen.
Useful Safety Tips for Hand Pruning Saws
- Tool Selection –Select the tool that is appropriate for the task at hand.
- Ladder Safety - Adhere to guidelines for ladder placement, maximum load rating, appropriate ladder height, and maintenance. Select the appropriate type of ladder for the task (e.g., tripod ladder for orchard use).
- Weather: Dress appropriately for the weather, using layers of clothing in the winter to avoid conditions brought on by the cold, such as frostbite. Sunscreen should be applied to your face on bright winter days. When it's raining, slippery, or hazardous outside, stay away from utilizing electric trimming equipment or tools.
- Repetitive Jobs - Take frequent, brief pauses when performing repetitive tasks and stretch before, during, and after work to lower your risk of muscle and joint injuries. Use battery-operated electric hand shears to help the weight be distributed more evenly.
- Maintain a straight blade. If the blade flexes, either you are pushing it too hard or you are not pulling straight. Speed up. Only apply pressure to pulls. Return to a straight, controlled cut and gradually pick up the pace.
- Doing work close to the ground? Try to prevent the tool's blade from contacting the ground when operating close to it. Any blade will quickly become dull from the soil's sand and pebbles.
- During rehabilitation pruning, which entails making numerous low cuts through the thick, ancient wood of proliferating shrubs like lilac and beauty bush, for instance, you'll have to do this a lot.
Most importantly, Know Where to Cut
- Just outside the branch collar is the best place to make pruning cuts. Where the branch you're cutting connects to the trunk or larger branch it's linked to is this slightly swollen, ridged area. The cut area is swiftly covered by new growth, which shields the remaining portion of the tree or shrub from disease and insect pests.
- Branches should never be chopped flush with the trunk. By doing so, the branch collar will be removed, preventing the tree or shrub from recovering.
- Avoid making your cut too close to the branch collar or in the midst of a branch. In the event that you don't, the severed limb will wither away to the branch collar, leaving an ugly stub that is susceptible to disease and pests.