Tips for Safe Stewardship
Your safety is your responsibility and should be your first concern. KNOW YOUR LIMITS, both mentally and physically. If you come across something that exceeds your physical abilities or seems strange to you, leave the area and seek assistance.
- Dress appropriately: sturdy shoes (not sandals), long pants, hat, and work gloves. Bring clothing appropriate for the weather. Wear blaze orange during fall hunting season.
- Bring eye protection, sun screen, insect repellent, etc. A first aid kit is recommended, especially when participating in group volunteer projects.
- Bring water and drink plenty of it, especially on hot, humid days. Bring snacks that will keep your energy level up. For Volunteer Project days, or longer site visits, bring a lunch.
- Be conscious of the weather. Work only during daylight and be aware of possible storms. If you are caught in a lightning storm, find shelter in low-lying areas away from natural lightning rods such as trees. Be prepared for excessively hot or cold conditions.
- Know and avoid harmful plants and animals such as poison ivy, stinging nettles, and ticks. Do a thorough tick search after your visit.
- Communicate with others. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Bringing a mobile phone might be a good idea.
- Watch your footing. Steep areas may be unstable, wet areas may be slippery, and vegetation could trip you up. Avoid areas you are unsure of.
- Do not disturb animals you may encounter. Carefully leave the area if you are concerned. Avoid dead animals.
- Tips for safe garbage removal:
- Never pick up needles or hypodermic syringes! Wear gloves when handling all other sharp objects.
- Handle aerosol cans only while wearing eye protection. Never puncture them. Pick them up with the top facing downward and at arm's length. They could burst.
- Do not overfill or compact trash bags. Broken or jagged objects can pierce the bags and cause injury
- Tips for lifting:
- Plan the lift, and then test the load to see how heavy it is. If it is too heavy, ask for help.
- Get a firm footing, bend at your knees, tighten your stomach muscles, and then lift with your legs.
- Once you have the load keep it close to your body and keep your back upright.
- Avoid twisting, lift smoothly, and don't jerk the object you are lifting. Push, don't pull.