NYS Division of Consumer Protection offers tips to protect New Yorkers at work

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The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has offered New Yorkers tips to keep safe when working outdoors this summer.

While disclosing this on Wednesday August 12, 2020, Secretary of State, Rossana Rosado, who oversees the New York State Division of Consumer Protection stated that with many New Yorkers spending more time at home this summer due to COVID-19, it’s a great time to tackle those outdoor home improvement projects and catch up on yardwork.

“I encourage all New Yorkers to keep these basic safety tips in mind when working around the house over the next several months,” she said.

She noted that summertime is a prime season for doing some home repairs and it is also a prime time for excessive heat.

Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the United States yearly.

While issuing the heat safety tips, DCP urged New Yorkers to avoid a strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It stated further that outdoor work and activity should be done in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

It also encouraged plenty of water and non-caffeinated beverages.

Also, New Yorkers were asked to stay out of the sun and try to cool off in an air-conditioned building for a few hours during the hottest part of the day.

According to DCP, the sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration.

“If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning.

“If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head,” DCP said.

“When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.

“Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body,” it sated.

On ladder safety tips, DCP said before climbing up on a ladder to do home repairs, painting, or gutter cleaning, ask someone to “spot” you.

It stated that a partner is very important to help stabilize the ladder as one climbs.

“Make sure your ladder is set up on stable ground.

“Keep the ladder away from power lines and live electrical wires to prevent electrocution,” it said.

While giving tips on power tools safety, DCP advised reading of directions and adherence to the instructions in the owner’s manual.

It urged maximum protection at work by wearing snug clothing and removing jewelry that could get caught in tools.

It added that safety goggles must be worn to protect eyes from flying debris.

“When using power tools, never carry them by the cord, and keep cords away from heat, oil, and sharp edges.

“One power tool that is regularly involved in injuries is a table saw.

“No matter how expert you are, always use the blade guard for through cuts, and use a push stick for small pieces,” the safety tips read.

DCP also cautioned that only the battery and charger provided by the manufacturer must be used when using battery-powered tools.

“Always keep hands away from moving parts.

“Extreme caution is required when operating a chainsaw.

“Never cut over your head (kickback can land the chainsaw into your face or shoulder).

Bear in mind that power tools and alcoholic beverages do not mix well; stay sober to stay safe,” the tips state.

On electrical safety tips, DCP explained that electrical power used outdoors poses a shock or electrocution hazard.

It advised that extension cords are properly grounded, not damaged with exposed wires, rated for outdoor use and suitable for the intended current of the equipment you’re using.

“Avoid using corded power tools in damp or wet conditions. Ensure that receptacles used to supply outdoor power have properly tested ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection, or use a portable GFCI.

“Make sure you check your deck for loose hardware (nails or screws), rotting boards, and eroding foundations,” DCP said.

Giving its final tips on lawn mowing safety, DCP stated that children should be disallowed from riding on a mower as a passenger.

It said that to keep children safe, children should never be in the yard when mowing.

“Before you start mowing, pick up objects like stones, branches and toys, which potentially could become flying objects if you run over them.

“Dress appropriately for the job: sturdy shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, eye protection, heavy gloves, and hearing protection, when needed.

“Do not mow in reverse, unless absolutely necessary, and always look down and behind you before and while going in reverse,” DCP stated.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers.

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