This section provides the information needed to be safe and to protect not only one's self but all employees, as well.


This section provides the information needed to be safe and to protect not only one's self but all employees, as well.


    The use of pesticides can be dangerous. Chemicals used by the Grounds Department include Roundup, Granular Pre-Emergence, and some Banvill. People who come into contact with pesticides may develop some residue build up in their body. Those who work with pesticides obviously are at greater risk of being contaminated. Therefore, the careful handling of pesticides is important in preventing accidents. This section provides the information needed to be safe and to protect not only oneself, but also one's f

      Protecting Your Body

      Once pesticides are applied they are invisible and sometimes odorless. Pesticides can enter the body one of three ways:

      The extent to which a person is poisoned can be extremely difficult to determine, especially if the pesticide has entered through the skin or lungs. Pesticides can be transferred to the body in the following ways by one of the above methods


      Via skin and eyes

      Via lungs

      Getting pesticides in your body is accomplished either by acute exposure or by chronic exposure.

        Acute exposure is when pesticides are ingested so that symptoms of poisoning occur quickly and the causes of the symptoms are known. This can be caused by

        Chronic exposure is repeated exposure to pesticides over a long period of time. This type of exposure may exist for a long period of time without any symptoms being noticed. Continuous exposure to pesticides is dangerous as residues in the body may increase. This low-level exposure can lead to serious illness and should be checked regularly. In the work place, chronic exposure usually occurs from incidents such as

        To protect oneself from pesticides entering the body, a person must wear protective clothing and equipment. All directions that appear on the label of the pesticide should be followed

          Protective Clothing for Pesticide Use

          When handling pesticides, a coverall-type outfit or at least a long-sleeved shirt and pants should be worn. The fabric should be woven or laminated, and manufactured for this purpose. If working with pesticide concentrates or very toxic materials, a liquid-proof apron must be worn.

            Protective Equipment

            Having the correct gear to protect the lungs is vital. The lungs absorb more chemicals through breathing than the skin does by coming in direct contact with a chemical. Therefore, a respirator must be worn when

            NOTE: Neither cartridge nor gas mask respirators will protect from high concentrations of vapor. Neither kind is effective when the oxygen supply is low as in the case of fumigating buildings

              NOTE: All respirators discussed above are negative-pressure respirators and must fit the face well. Beards, sideburns, or glasses will hinder a tight seal.

                As pesticides are being applied, wear a mask. If the ability to breathe lessens or the smell of pesticides is evident, replace filters, cartridges, and canisters. These items should be replaced at the end of any job. Wash the face-piece with water and detergent, rinse it, and dry it with a clean cloth.

                  The useful life of a cartridge or canister depends on:

                  Personal Care Following the Use of Pesticides

                  Re-Entering Treated Areas

                  The supervisor of the crew is responsible for warning workers and other people in the area that a pesticide will be used. The supervisor must post signs, in plain sight, that a pesticide has been used. These signs need to be universally understood, using words and pictures, as directed in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's guide, Applying Pesticides Correctly. The warning must include:

                  The only exceptions to the above guidelines are mosquito abatement, related public pest control programs, and livestock and other animal treatments.

                    Handling Pesticides Safely

                    A review of key points:

                    Mixing and Loading Pesticides

                    Studies show that those applying pesticides are most often exposed to harmful amounts when handling concentrates. Workers involved in mixing and loading undiluted, highly toxic pesticides are highly susceptible to accidental poisoning. Pouring concentrates from one container to another is the most hazardous activity.

                      Safety Guidelines

                      Pesticide Application

                      Equipment: Always check application equipment for leaking hoses, pumps, or connections and plugged, worn, or dripping nozzles.

                      Disposal of Pesticides

                      The EPA recommends ways to dispose of excess pesticides. Consult the label for disposal instructions or precautions. If there are excess pesticides:

                      Containers: Do not leave pesticides or pesticide containers at the application site. Never give away pesticide containers. Leftover pesticide containers must be closed tightly and placed in the storage area. The seal should be checked on a regular basis. Always triple rinse empty containers of liquid pesticides as follows:

                      Non-burnable Containers (metal, plastic, or glass)

                      Containers that held organic mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, inorganic pesticides

                      Cleanup of Pesticide Spills

                      Minor Spills (under 500 lbs.)

                      Major Spills (500 lbs and above)

                      First Aid for Pesticide Poisoning

                      Poison on skin

                      Chemical burn on skin

                      Poison in eye

                      Inhaled poison

                      Poison in mouth or swallowed

                      Procedure for inducing vomiting

                      Do not induce vomiting if the victim:

                      Pesticide Poisoning Recognition

                      Pesticides that target pests can poison humans as well. Some pesticides are highly toxic to humans. Only a few drops in the mouth or on the skin can cause severe injury. Other pesticides are less toxic, but overexposure to them will cause injury. An employee must know the kinds of injury most likely to be caused by the pesticides in use

                        There are two clues to pesticide poisoning: 1) nausea and headache, 2) Vomiting. Employees should know what the symptoms might mean and what signs to look for in others who may have been exposed.

                          Pesticides, which are chemically similar to one another, will generally cause like patterns of injuries. The injury may be mild or severe, depending on the specific pesticide involved and the amount of overexposure. However, the pattern of injury caused by each chemical group is usually the same.

                            There are two major types of pesticide poisoning injuries:

                            Safe Operation for Spray Equipment

                            The first rule of safe operation for spray equipment is to know the capabilities and limitations of the equipment. Carry Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) in the truck so that it may be taken to the spraying site. Wear the following protective clothing and equipment:

                            EQUIPMENT OPERATION

                            General Safety Rules for Operating Equipment

                            Edger Operation

                            String Trimmer Operation

                            Trimming with a Blade

                            Chain Saw

                            Additional Safety Procedures for Chainsaws

                            Backpack Blower Operation

                            Snow blower Operation

                            Riding Lawn Mower Operation

                            Safe Operating Procedures for Riding Lawnmowers

                            In case of clogging of the mower deck

                            Turf Vacuum Operation

                            21" Push Mower Operation

                            Brush Chipper


                            Read and follow all instructions contained in the operator's manual and the decals placed on the brush chipper before operating the equipment.

                            Rotating Feed Rollers

                            Rotating Knives

                            Transporting Brush Chipper

                            Before transporting the brush chipper, the following precautions should be followed to reduce the risk of injury due to collision or loss of vehicle control:

                            Safety Decals


                            Under no circumstances:

                            ROPS Maintenance and Inspection

                            After the first 20 hours of operation, and then after every 300 hours of operation or six months, whichever comes first:

                            Damage to the ROPS



                            A careful operator is the best operator. Most accidents can be avoided by observing certain precautions. To help prevent accidents, read and follow the precautions below before operating the tractor. Equipment should be operated only by those who are responsible and instructed to do so.

                            Servicing the Tractor

                            Escaping hydraulic/diesel fluid under pressure can penetrate the skin causing serious injury.

                            Some components on the tractor, such as the cylinder head gasket, may contain asbestos. Breathing asbestos dust is dangerous to your health. It is therefore advised to have any maintenance or repair operations on such components carried out by the dealer. If, however, service operations are to be undertaken on parts that contain asbestos, the essential precautions listed below must be observed:

                            Operating the Unit

                            Operating the P.T.O.

                            Driving the Unit

                            Diesel Fuel



                            Keep your mind on the job. Your own safety as well as your fellow workers' depends on YOU!

                          Source: MaintainX (Community Member)

                          Please note that any procedure, checklist, or other document available in the MaintainX Global Procedure Library is provided for general education and information only and does not constitute legal, medical, or financial advice. MaintainX makes the materials available AS IS and AS PROVIDED, without warranties of any kind. By downloading or using any such materials, you assume the risk that they may not be appropriate for your specific situation and agree that you are solely responsible for any such use, including compliance with applicable law and with meeting any conditions of product warranties.