A lawn mower is a great way to keep most of your lawn in tip-top shape, but it’s not enough to do the entire job.
Most lawns, especially compact or smaller yards, have spaces that are impossible to reach with a mower, whether it be close to tree trunks or next to your home. In these cases, your tool of choice is a whipper snipper. However, just like most lawn equipment, a whipper snipper can cause severe problems and injuries for those who don’t take proper precautions.
Every single year, there are over ten thousand injuries reported from using a whipper snipper in the US, and most of them could have been prevented by using proper safety measures.
What to Wear
Here are four things you need to equip yourself with before firing up your whipper snipper to finish making your lawn as perfect as it can be.
- Earmuffs – With the RPMs produced by the head of a whipper snipper and the working of the motor powering it, this device can produce quite a bit of noise. Especially when using a gas-powered model, the noise levels produced are more than enough to potentially cause permanent hearing damage. Earmuffs or sound-dampening earplugs will protect your hearing, and most likely prevent a headache as well.
- Boots – With a cutting edge or nylon string rotating around the head of a whipper snipper thousands of times per minute, cutting through grass, weeds, and even small brush, it’s important to remember that this activity is happening at times mere inches from your feet. While you may want to be comfortable while doing your yard work, you could suffer a severe injury with one small slip of the tool, including losing a toe. Sturdy, closed-toe boots are a good idea, and steel-toed boots are the best choice when guiding a whirling cutter mere inches in front of them.
- Gloves – This piece of advice may surprise some. After all, there’s not much to protect your hands from while using a whipper snipper, is there? Yes, there is; the biggest danger to your hands while using this tool is the vibration it creates. While it may not seem like much while using the snipper, long-term use of this device can cause even longer-term damage to the nerves and circulatory system in your hands. This can lead to permanent numbness in your hands and fingers, and the possibility of other damage as well. As a bonus, heavy-duty gloves that can absorb some of the vibrations also provide excellent protection against pieces of flying debris.
- Face protection – Saving the most important for last, goggles are the least amount of protection you should give your face while using a whipper snipper. As you operate the tool, not only are small pieces of the plants you’re cutting flung into the air at high speed, but the spinning string or blades can also send pieces of wood or rock into the air as well. Any of these striking your eye can blind you forever. Of course, a full-face shield is the best option, as it protects your entire face from the effects of being struck by debris. It wouldn’t take a direct hit from a small rock to chip or break a tooth, for example; a face shield can protect you from that and other dangers.
One bonus tip: Take your jewelry off before firing up the whipper snipper. If an earring or necklace charm were to fall free from your body, it could quickly become lethal if it’s propelled back into you at the high speed a whipper snipper can send it flying.
And once you’ve safely mowed and whipper snipped your lawn, you can relax in it and enjoy the clean lines!