(WETM) – It’s time to pull out the power tools, ladders and lawn equipment for spring clean-up.  

Tom Waters, MD, an emergency department physician with Cleveland Clinic, said taking a few simple precautions may help prevent unwanted accidents. 

“When people are mulching, they tend to go a little crazy with it and they may be working outside of their normal scope of exercise,” he explained.  “So, you just need to be really careful.  You don’t want to overdo it. You want to lift with your legs.  You want to use the proper tools as far as shovels, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and things like that.”

When landscaping, Dr. Waters said injuries can be avoided with the right safety gear.   

If trimming back trees or shrubs, he suggests wearing protective eyewear and a good pair of leather gloves. 

While cutting the grass, he reminds us to never stick our hands in a running lawnmower to free a jam or clog and stresses the importance of making sure the mower is turned off first, to avoid injuring fingers and hands. 

It’s also a good idea to use caution around ladders. 

“When the weather turns nice, we’re getting up on ladders to do other things like clean out our gutters, cleaning windows, and you really just need to make sure that you’re careful when you’re on a ladder,” he advised. “Make sure it’s placed correctly.  Make sure you have another individual below holding the ladder as a spotter.  And, quite frankly, if you’re going to be up really high doing these kinds of things, sometimes it’s just best left to the professionals, to pay someone to do it for you.”  

Dr. Waters said a few safeguards could be the difference between a hospital detour and at-home curb appeal.