Job Site Safety Tips to Help Avoid Injuries

Job Site Safety Tips to Help Avoid Injuries

Posted by Andrew Greess on May 24, 2018

Hazards don't reach out and tap you on the shoulder before you're about to fall over them. Take a minute or two to check the job site for hazards, kid's toys, dogs. We have a lot of things to contend with going onto a job site, not looking for the hazards that might be lurking is just unnecessary. 

We've heard of technician's walking into air conditioner units and also falling backwards into a pool. Those  can be costly mistakes that can be easily avoided. Making noise is a simple way of alerting things to your presence. If you're a company or government worker that sprays public lands making noise before entering a restroom or near bushes to scare snakes away is an effective warning system.

Technician's also need to on the look-out for kids toys. You need to make sure that they do not spray anyway where near them. Pick them up and put them out of the grass – sure it's not your "job" but spray that kid toy with chemical and there is a good chance your company gets sued. The technician that fell into a pool: the homeowner required the company to drain the pool, clean it and then refill the pool. The chances that any chemical actually leaked out of the sprayer is low, but there is no way of knowing for sure. It's a hard way of learning why you never walk backwards while spraying.

Our final recommendation is that you make a hard and fast rule about technician's using their phones while working. Absolutely not allowed. It's not allowed while driving and it shouldn't be allowed while spraying chemicals around. If someone calls and you need to take the call – stop spraying, take the call, hang up and resume spraying. 

Stay tuned for the next series in the seminar talking about  chemicals and chemical spills.

Andrew Greess: Next, I want to talk about job site safety. This is one where I think it's important to know the hazards before you start. If it's a house you're spraying every day, that's one thing, but if it's your first time there, take a couple of seconds and make sure you know what the issues are before you go in there.

If you're there first time, inspect the site. It won't take you 30 seconds or 45 seconds and you can prevent problems, and I've got some specific photos here. No walking backwards under any circumstances. Do not walk backwards. Almost every problem that I've seen in my 15 years of doing this has been because the tech has been walking backwards.

I've seen things like techs walk backwards, step on a cactus, walk backwards, step on a toy and hyperextend your knee. I knew one tech who walked backwards, fell into a swimming pool, and the home owner made them drain the pool, clean the pool, and refill the pool because he fall in there with a one gallon B&G.

Now, I can't say that B&G doesn't spill anything. It didn't spill one ounce. There's no way one ounce would come out of the air hose on a B&G, but they had to do all that work for that pool because this guy was walking backwards and didn't realize the pool was there.

Watch for small trip hazards. Those are the ones that get you. There's no sign. If there was a sign, it wouldn't be a trip hazard. "There's a sign. OK, I'm not going to trip on it," so what am I talking about. Here are some examples. That's an example of a trip hazard.

I look at that and I think when I was 21 years old, I probably could have kicked that, I probably would have had an on open beer in one hand and a 24 pack in the other, I could have kicked that, done three somersaults, got up, not spilled my beer, and been right back, no problem.

Now, if I hit that, man, I'm going down. I'm going to be sore for three months, and any of you guys with a couple of gray hairs know what I'm talking about. It hurts a lot longer, and that's the kind of thing...Picture, if you have a 40‑pound backpack on your back and you catch that, you could be in some trouble. You could go teeth first.

That's the kind of thing I'm saying. Just take a look. Don't be in such a hurry that you hurt yourself. It's a lot more expensive to the company if you hurt yourself than it takes you an extra one minute to do your job.

Here's another example of the kind of thing you could step in and hyperextend a knee. Kids' toys. Two risks there. One is, you step on it, the other is, you spray it, because if you spray it, you're going to get sued. Even if you were close to it, if the kid gets sick, you're going to get sued.

Dogs, if you're walking into a backyard, make some noise before you go into the backyard. I have a customer who once hit a dog with a B&G can because he was about to get hit. Scary.

Snakes, any of you guys doing parks or rural areas? Make some noise. Bees, any one see bees? Especially the power sprayers, we've had a lot of problems with people with power sprays get into trouble.

This one, particularly for some of the parks folks and the government employees who are spraying these parks, I had a customer come in actually just a couple of months ago, and he was going into an outhouse to spray, and there was a homeless guy there who swiped at him with a knife.

He cut him, it wasn't bad, but he got cut. It cut him through his shirt and it nicked him. That's the kind of thing you want to know before you go in there. Make some noise.

Air conditioner. This is one, I added this after giving this presentation in this very room. Tech was telling me he was backing out of the backyard, he came out the back gate, turned around, smacked face right into an air conditioner.

It's easy to laugh because it didn't happen to me, but it would hurt, so watch for air conditioners. That's the old don't walk backwards routine.

Guy‑wires. Anyone ever trip on a guy‑wire? You know, when you've got a backpack on your back, that's going to be a problem.

The last one is, you've got to hang up and work. If you get a call that you have to take, it's your kid and you've got to talk to him, stop spraying, take the call, resolve the call, hang up, and then start spraying. You should not be applying chemicals while you're on the phone.

That's a scary one. I think that just needs to be a hard and fast rule for every company or every organization out there. That's a scary one to me, and we see it all the time. 

If you missed the first videos in the series, please check out those blog posts here:

Spray Equipment Safety Training Seminar Introduction

Rules for Spray Equipment Safety Seminar Discussion

What are the Safety Risk Seminar Topics?

Vehicle Equipment Security: Protecting Your Driver and Others

Vehicle Equipment Security Securing Your Backpack, Gas Can, Hose Reel

Learn Which Vehicle Equipment Areas to Inspect Carefully

A Quick Check Can Keep You Out of Hall of Shame

The Importance of Checking Your Rig and Proper Equipment

Importance of Proper Vehicle Load Stability

How to Avoid Cuts, Burns & Abrasions on the Job

Preventing Slipping Injuries

Injury Prevention on the Job

How to Help Minimize Back Strain 

You can also check out the slides from the Spray Equipment Safety Seminar here:

For more information on Andrew Greess, visit