As a rental business owner or manager, the safety of your customers is always at the top of your mind. One of the worst case scenarios you could imagine is one of your customers getting hurt while using a piece of lawn & grounds equipment they just rented from you.
So, if safety is at the top of your mind, it must be at the top of their minds as well, right? Probably not.
Research by MSA Safety Works shows that 92 percent of consumers are not even considering safety when they enter a store for product purchases, and the same can be assumed when it comes to product rentals, says John Quinn with MSA Safety Works.
Ryan Malone with Youngstown Equipment Co. adds that customers are often most concerned with the equipment, not safety.
“PPE (personal protective equipment) is often overlooked,” he says. “When PPE is available and the rental employee is well versed in the equipment and the PPE associated with the job at hand, the benefits are tremendous. The customer is protected against potential injuries, the employee is educating the customer and creating a stronger relationship, and the rental business is seeing an add-on sale that would never have been made if not offering any PPE.”
Each type of lawn & grounds application is unique, therefore requiring different types of PPE. Suppliers sourced for this article offer these PPE suggestions for various applications.
Leaf Blowing. Depending on the type of blower, hearing protection and gloves are typically recommended. But, says Quinn with MSA Safety Works, the most important piece of PPE operators should wear is safety glasses or goggles.
- Eye protection. Because leaf blowers can move leaves, twigs and other debris, eye protection is recommended to ensure nothing comes into contact with your eyes.
- Hearing protection is designed to reduce the noise to a level that is acceptable and still allows you to hear what you need to hear, says Britton Harold, product marketing manager for parts and accessories with Husqvarna Forest & Garden. “Hearing loss is gradual and sometimes a slow and undetected process, so ensure that you’re always protecting yourself from noise
damage,” he says.
- Gloves. “Anytime a hand-held piece of equipment is used, it’s recommended you use gloves in case of contact with oil, gas or parts of the engine that may be hot,” says Harold.
- Hearing protection
- Eye protection to protect against shooting debris, grass, twigs and rocks. Quinn with MSA Safety Works notes that multiple protection can be made simple with a product such as MSA Safety Works’ Weed Trimmer Faceshield, which features a wire-mesh-screen visor to help block debris, integrated ear muffs to help block harmful noise, an adjustable-ratchet nape strap for stability and comfort, and safety glasses that meet high-impact eye protection requirements.
- Protective Chaps/Pants. “Wearing chaps or pants will help protect you in the event the chainsaw makes contact with a part of your body,” says Harold. “It may not completely alleviate the injury, but will help reduce the severity of it dramatically. The majority of chainsaw injuries are on the legs, so chaps or pants with protective chainsaw material are very important.”
- Hearing protection.
- Eye Protection. “With the various wood, chips and dust that flies during chainsaw use, glasses that fit close and snug to your face are recommended,” says Harold. “This will help to keep debris from interfering with your vision or potentially causing damage to your eyes.”
Quinn notes that operators could take this one step further and use full face protection. “Hard hats with attached face shields or stand-alone face shields protect the entire face,” says Quinn. “Of course, for optimum eye protection, tight-fitting spectacles or goggles should be worn under a face shield assembly.”