Safety Considerations When Using a Stump Grinder
Working with a stump grinder in Iowa City, Iowa requires that you take the time to understand how these tools work thoroughly. Just as importantly, you need to understand the safety precautions necessary when operating these tools. Doing so ensures that you not only get the best results from them, but also that you don’t injure yourself or anybody else while you work with this equipment.
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
Before you start any grinding, you need to put on safety gear to protect yourself. Doing so ensures that you don’t run into any complications while you work with a stump grinder. While these tools are safety utilized and shouldn’t cause any problems, you do need to take the time to prepare yourself properly. Thankfully, this gear is something that you shouldn’t have a hard time finding.
For example, you should make sure that you wear items such as gloves, boots, a hat, and even chest protection when you use a grinder. The wood that these tools will throw can be quite intense and may cause you injury if they strike you too hard. Make sure that you also stand back away from the grinder as you work to ensure that you don’t get stuck on its operational elements as you grind.
Just as importantly, you need to make sure that your safety equipment fits you properly to avoid any injury. For example, your gloves need to be tight and not too bulky on your hands. Bulky gloves may complicate the process and cause some issues that may be hard to manage. And your safety goggles should have protection along the side of your face to protect you from the dangers of flying wood entirely.
Evaluate the Stump Before You Start
Next, you need to make sure that you examine the stump before you use the stump grinder to eliminate it. Your evaluation requires you to pay attention to the location of the stump and the potential impact that this could have on grinding it. These steps include seeing how close it is to buildings and other elements, such as your vehicles and even your neighbors’ homes to make sure it is safe to grind.
Typically, you want at least 10 feet of clearance around the stump when you work. This minimal distance is improved with more extra feet, such as 20-30 feet or so. This type of clearance ensures that flying wood chips don’t hit anything too hard and cause complications. Beyond this step, you also need to make sure that you check what type of stump you are grinding to choose the appropriate tools.
For example, some grinders will be quite small and are only appropriate for certain types of trees. Other grinders are quite large and are useful for larger stumps. Make sure that you also choose a grinding blade that is strong enough for the wood. Each should be rated based on the species and the hardness of wood with which it can work. This information should give you the insight you need.
Pay Attention to Chip Throwing
A good stump grinder can throw wood chips relatively far, which is why you need to make sure that you know where your chips will end up flying. In some cases, you may be able to direct the flow of your wood chips in such a way that they aren’t too problematic. This step includes adjusting various spouts that may let you change your debris flow. However, you should also take other steps to protect the area.
For example, you may want to put up various types of protective gear around the work area to keep chips from hitting items. These include multiple shields and other standing items that will block chips from hitting these areas. You can also put up pads on the buildings and vehicles themselves, which will prevent the flying impact of the wood chips and keep these items as safe as possible.
You may also want to minimize the amount of cleanup work you need to do by buying a tarp and laying it around the stump where you plan on grinding. This step is a good one because the tarp will collect a majority of the wood chips for you. You can then pick up the tarp and carry it to your garbage bin to ensure you get rid of the waste properly and keep your area clean.
Keep the Site Safe
Lastly, you need to make sure that you take steps to keep your job site protected from people who may wander onto the stump grinder site without warning. This situation is a problem because it may cause people to enter your site while you’re not expecting it and cause injury. This issue is particularly potent because you likely won’t hear anybody calling to you while you’re running your grinder correctly.
First of all, you should mark the area that could be affected by thrown wood chips and warn people to stay away. This safety zone should be at least 50 feet away from where you’re grinding. Though wood chips aren’t likely to fly that far from your grinder, this safety distance does help to warn people before they are in any danger. Make sure that people don’t enter the site as you grind to avoid injury.
Just as importantly, first-time users of any grinder should be carefully watched to ensure that they don’t make any mistakes. If you are the first-time user yourself, you may want to hire a professional who can work with you to assess the grinding situation. These experts can then help to assist in training you to get the best results for your possible grinding. They can even do the grinding for you if you are uncomfortable.
Reach Out to Professional Help
So if you need help with your stump grinder in Iowa City, Iowa and you aren’t sure where to turn, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Fix Fabrication & Landscaping right away to learn more. Our professionals have years of experience working on jobs like these and will do what is necessary to ensure that you get the best results when you try to grind your stumps properly