What health issues should a lawn care business owner be concerned with?

Any industry has the potential to cause you medical problems if you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again. Repetitive stress issues can occur using most equipment, from heavy mowers, to computer keyboards. Inhaling fumes from gas as well as sprayed fertilizer can also cause health problems, so be aware and stay safe. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we get some insight as to what issues the average mowing company owner needs to be concerned with.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have been worried about my health being negatively effected by mowing since I started working with the landscape company I was with a few years ago and now as a business owner I want to know what the health issues are related to running all these mowing and trimming machines all day long. Has anyone done any studies on the health issues? If so can where can I find them? Also if are there health issues that can be prevented?”

A second lawn care business owner said “personally, my health issues involve tendinitis. Last year it was tennis elbow, this year it is golfer’s elbow. My shoulders pop and crack from tight tendons and my lower back requires adjustment every so often.

If you’re concerned about exhaust fumes perhaps you could look into propane powered equipment. Some ZTRs mowers are now powered by propane. I do believe I’ve seen a bunch of companies that offer propane powered equipment and they run a lot cleaner than gas. You can also power your line trimmers with propane as well.”

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome can effect your job performance.

A third added “I have to agree that carpel tunnel has gotten the best of me. When you are dealing with a lot of ‘vibrating’ equipment, it can stiffen up your joints and cause a bit of cramping. My fingers usually are the first thing to cause me pain and the pain tends to work it’s way up my arms until I can take a break at the end of the day. So far luckily it has been nothing too serious.

As for the fumes go, it’s hard to say. You could be indoors all day breathing in stale air, or outdoors with fresh air and a bit of exhaust. I smoke, so honestly can’t tell you if breathing in exhaust effects me.

The biggest problem I have, is my heart rapidly accelerating depending on what I’m doing. Usually happens when moving faster (obviously) though this could cause temporary shortness of breath and instant fatigue. I get this often because I don’t eat breakfast before I go out mowing for the day.

Some basic things I am on the watch for:

  • Avoiding sun stroke.
  • Replenishing fluids.
  • Eating healthier.
  • Stretching between jobs.
  • Using proper posture when sitting on a mower all day long.

A fourth shared “that tingling feeling in your fingers can be an indication of ‘Raynaud’s Syndrome’. Raynaud’s Syndrome is a health issue common in occupations that induce vibrations on the hands and fingers. Using string trimmers for long periods of time or in cold weather can exacerbate the effects of the disease. Be mindful of this and on the look out for the signs.”

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