War on Bamboo: Whoopsie! For Safety’s Sake – Look Where You’re Going!

We make a safety mistake.  It inevitably comes out of our mouth: a curse, a string of indecipherable consonants that leaves one’s ears ringing… maybe a “whoopsie!” – or even worse:  “Honey, I think I need to go to the hospital.”

A good friend, who happens to be a roofer by trade, once told me:

 NEVER walk backwards on a job.  Not even a step.

This is quite understandable when you’re up several stories on a roof because, well, the next step might be a loo-loo.

But this morning I was continuing my attack on the bamboo forest.  Why would those sage words came to mind again?  Here’s what happened:

The bamboo are very leafy at the top and have been intertwined with vines.  So when I clip a few shoots, I carry out a bunch of fallen ones to conserve my energy and clear a path to the next section.  Inevitably this turns into a sort of tug-of-war between the vines and I.


Bamboo invasion by my garage

Facing my opponent, focused and stubborn, I began yanking and pulling the snagged bamboo, not paying attention to where I was going or what obstacles lay afoot.  Then my feet got snagged and I had the presence of mind to stop and assess my situation.

Working my way through the dense bamboo, there are height variations of chopped bamboo sticking up from the ground.  Now add twisty vines strewn all over.  They’re ticked and have declared war on me.

Homeless vines lying in wait for me.

Homeless vines lying in wait for me.

Whoopsie!  It’s the perfect combination for a trip and fall.

turtle-hits-floorPersonally, I don’t like falling.  It hurts more and takes longer to recover the older I get!  Looking around my work area I realized that falling here might mean more than a sore bum and bruised ego.  Falling in this work area might get me impaled!

Those sage words came to mind:

NEVER walk backwards on a job. Not even a step.

My ankles have been snagged by desperate roots, my feet wrapped in vines or fallen Spanish moss…  hell, even my shoelaces are against me!  Walking backwards, yanking on snagged bamboo is a bad idea.  And I realize that I’ve been lucky.


Random height and fallen bamboo shoots are tripping hazards in the work area

Keep these in mind:

  • Always look where you’re going – not where you’ve been
  • Have a clear footpath free of debris and tripping hazards
  • Keep distractions to a minimum.  (For me, that’s kenneling the dogs so they don’t become another obstacle)
  • Stay hydrated!  Being too hot, tired, and parched is distracting.  You’re prone to make mistakes if your brain is cooked.

These things are not limited to just the war on bamboo; it is good advice for any home improvement or landscaping project.

If you have other trip and fall prevention safety tips, I sure would like to hear them.

In the meantime:  Look where you’re going and stay safe!

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6 Responses to War on Bamboo: Whoopsie! For Safety’s Sake – Look Where You’re Going!

  1. Wow, what a big job you have undertaken! Yes, safety is primary!


    • Meredith L. says:

      Hi jeanniemaries! It’s definitely a big undertaking but I’m finding so many things to enjoy about the yard. Clean up is almost done and then we’re going to start planting and transplanting things! I’m very excited. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂


  2. Angie says:

    Great reminders! I’m always so intent on my project that I don’t always consider the “fallout” possibilities. You are sure working hard on that yard! Glad that you still take a little time to keep us updated on your progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mattb325 says:

    Very wise words! The one I always use is keep a clean work site: that means don’t leave tools lying around and try to clean up as you go, so that you contain the messy parts to as small an area as possible. This is especially important if you have a number of distinct trades going on at the same time as is typical at the end of a building job when the landscaping is starting

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meredith L. says:

      Excellent point about keeping the messy work area small and tidy, especially if multiple trades are on a work site, mattb325. A trip and fall in such cases may not only lead to injury but perhaps even a lawsuit. Thanks for stopping by with some input.


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