Safety Watch: Spraying Chemicals
Tear out & share
with your crew
BY OLIVIA GRIDER
labels and use caution
to minimize risks.
THE ACCIDENT: A 27-year-old landscape worker is spraying insecticide at a residential estate when
a breeze picks up. Seemingly each time he turns his
back to the wind, it changes direction and a cloud of
the chemical washes over his face and bare arms. By
the time the worker ﬁnishes the job, he has a headache, feels nauseated and dizzy, is sweating profusely
and is experiencing muscle tremors. A co-worker
calls 911. When emergency personnel arrive, they
ask for the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the
chemical the man was using, and a crew member
retrieves it from the company truck. Doctors use the
information to treat the worker, who recovers.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Do not apply landscape
chemicals on rainy or windy days. Rain can wash
chemicals into runoffs, and wind will keep them in
the air, where they are a danger to you and others.
Even in the absence of wind, wear the gear
indicated on the product label – usually pants, a
Place chemical application notiﬁcation ﬂags
along driveways and walkways on properties
so anyone near a treated area will know a
hazardous chemical has been applied.
long-sleeved shirt, eye protection, chemical-resistant
gloves and sometimes a respirator. Ask homeowners
whether they have children or pets and, if they do,
tell them when, according to the product label, it
will be safe for them to re-enter treated areas.
TO FURTHER REDUCE RISKS:
Read and understand the product label of
Have the MSDS for the chemicals you use
Wash your hands with soap and water
immediately after applying chemicals to
minimize exposure from touching your face,
food, a vehicle steering wheel, etc.
Shower after work, and wash work clothes
separately from other clothes.
May 2012 / TOTAL LANDSCAPE CARE