Gardening Safely: How to Avoid Injury While Working in Your Yard

By: Stephanie Ross Email
By: Stephanie Ross Email

Southern Colorado is getting green and its time for everyone with green thumbs to start working in their gardens. But the spring activity can actually be quite dangerous. From hurting your back to electrocution, who knew that flowering your yard or putting in a pond could be dangerous. But there are some things you can do to make sure a day in the yard doesn't turn into a day at the emergency room.

The sun is shining, the grass is getting green, and flowers are blooming. For many in Southern Colorado, that means, its time to get to work.

"I'm working on cleaning up the yard right now, so I'm doing a lot of raking. Just clearing it out so I can get it ready for the spring."

And that can mean long hours of hard, physical work.

"At my age you are up and down quite a bit, you get a little bit stiff in the legs and so on but I manage to get through it"

But many don't get through it without injury.
Amanda Doughty, a physical therapist at Spectrum Wellness sees a spike in back injuries at this time of year.

"They get out into the garden and they are weeding etc., they come in with back sprains or maybe a re-irritation of an old injury."

Usually it's caused from the repetitive motion that gardening demands.

"The position that most people will injure themselves in is a flexed and rotated position."

But hurting yourself from the hard work isn't the only danger when you dig. Natalia Siebert of Colorado Springs Utilities explains.

"If you hit a natural gas line there's a chance you could be shocked or injured because you can cause a fire, the same thing with electric lines is you could possibly be shocked."

There are utility lines buried all over the place, and all it takes is a call to 811. Someone from utilities will come locate the lines for free.
Stephanie Johnston has used the service several times while landscaping her yard.

"I think its wonderful, I think it would prevent a lot of damage and it would be very expensive to fix and repair."


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