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GHS, Flammable Liquids or Gases and FIRE PREVENTION WEEK in North America!

In the fire service this year the SOLID RED LINE TEAMS are putting a lot of effort and good training time into getting folks to check smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old and escape routes out of homes and business.  But what about a little GHS knowledge!

The same folks that just checked the smoke detector and fresh batteries are now coming to your place of business where YES you might have FLAMMABLE PRODUCTS stored under GHS so what do you know about those products and risks during FIRE PREVENTION WEEK? Flammable and combustible liquids have the potential to harm employees in the workplace, typically due to the fire hazard they pose. Because of this, Occupational Safety and Health Legislation maintains general requirements for the handling, storage, and use of liquids with a flash point below 200°F (“flammable liquids”) in containers, portable tanks, and tank systems.

Flammables were considered the more dangerous liquids under the pre-GHS standard. These liquids have lower flash points, meaning that they ignite more easily. Flammable liquids were defined as any liquid with a flash point below 100°F and were considered to be “Class 1 liquids.” A flammable could be Class 1A, 1B, or 1C, with 1A being the most dangerous.

GHS, the Class 1, 2, and 3 distinctions no longer exist. “Flammable liquids” are now divided into four “categories.” Despite the change, OH&S goal remains the same: to reserve the most stringent regulations for the most dangerous liquids. In fact, many of the old classes have approximately the same cut-off levels for flash point and boiling point as the new categories.

Below are the four categories of flammable liquids (with their approximate “old class” as comparison):

o   Category 1 liquids have flash points below 73.4°F (23°C) and boiling points at or below 95°F (35°C).

o   Category 2 liquids have flashpoints below 73.4°F (23°C) and boiling points above 95°F (35°C).

o   Category 3 liquids have flashpoints at or above 73.4°F (23°C) and at or below 140°F (60°C). When Category 3 liquids with flash points at or above 100°F (37.8°C) are heated for use to within 30°F (16.7°C) of their flash point, they must be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 3 liquid with a flashpoint below 100°F (37.8°C).

o   Category 4 liquids have flash points above 140°F (60°C) and at or below 199.4°F (93°C). When Category 4 flammable liquids are heated for use to within 30°F (16.7°C) of their flash points, they must be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 3 liquid with a flashpoint at or above 100°F (37.8°C).

o   In addition, the new rules specify that when a liquid with a flash point greater than 199.4°F (93°C) is heated for use to within 30°F (16.7°C) of its flash point, it must be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 4 flammable liquid.

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When you think Illegal Drugs and street problems are you thinking GHS, Hazmat or TDG risks and why they are called Dangerous Goods.

Never once not in any TDG/Hazmat or GHS or WHMIS 2015 class will any instructor bring up the use of NARCOTICS and THEFT risks of chemical in Class! And in law enforcement it is seldom brought up not unless you are Narcotics officer, and Occupational Health and Safety will say were they trained, trained in what, chemicals or narcotic detection and prevention!

But wait even Health Canada in June 2016, ( you know the agency that talks about WHMIS2015) is talking about and is concerned about this topic. The diversion of controlled substances and precursor chemicals frequently used in the production of illegal drugs is a worldwide problem that requires a global solution. Health Canada is an active team player in the fight to control the illicit use of these controlled substances and precursor chemicals.

Health Canada’s Role

  • Develop regulations for the import, export, production, distribution, possession and sale of controlled substances and precursor chemicals,
  • Administer legislation and activities related to controlled drugs and substances through the Office of Controlled Substances,
  • Work in collaboration with Canadian and international stakeholders to ensure that controlled substances and precursor chemicals are handled effectively and remain in legal distribution channels, and
  • Analyze, through the Drug Analysis Service, suspected illegal drugs that are seized by Canadian police forces (RCMP, provincial, regional and municipal) and Canada Customs.

What Are Controlled Substances?

A controlled substance is any type of drug that the federal government has categorized as having a higher-than-average potential for abuse or addiction. Such drugs are divided into categories based on their potential for abuse or addiction. Controlled substances range from illegal street drugs to prescription medications.

Even the United Nations is weighting down on precursors and chemicals frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. You remember the United Nations in your safety training they are the folks that brought you GHS and TDG standards world!   The CND is the central policy-making body within the U.N. system dealing with drug-related matters. The INCB is a quasi-judicial independent body that monitors the implementation of the three U.N. international drug control conventions. The harmless desire of man which commenced as a curious pursuit to explore and then synthesize certain hidden treasures of Mother Nature consisting of strange chemical compositions, which she herself produces niggardly has today gained monstrous propositions. It has become a curse spoiling generations and crippling nations. The illicit production, trafficking, consumption and abuse of drugs is a major global challenge eating into the fabrics of society, fuelling divisions along ethnic and religious lines, violating values of human dignity, harbouring crime and creating psychological wrecks. It spreads senseless violence, damaging fragile economy of developing nations, creating a climate of hate, fear and mistrust between neighbouring countries and last but not the least providing skeletal financial seamless support to transcontinental terrorism termed aptly as “Narcoterrorism”

“Precursor” and “essential” chemicals play two critical roles in the production of illegal drugs: as compounds required in the production of synthetic drugs or as refining agents and solvents for processing plant-based materials such as coca into cocaine and opium poppy into heroin. Chemicals used in synthetic drug production are known as “precursor” chemicals because they are incorporated into the drug product and are less likely to be substituted by other chemicals. Chemicals used to refine and process plant-based drugs are referred to as “essential” or “precursor” chemicals and can be readily replaced by other chemicals with similar properties. Drug “cooks” have little regard for themselves or the welfare and safety of the community.

Because of the mix of precursor chemicals and substances used in drug production, drug lab sites have been known to cause explosions, flash burns, fires (including house fires), toxic fumes, poisonous gases, damage to the environment, injury to members of the community and even death.

Exposure to the toxic by-products of these substances can cause immediate harm and can be life threatening. Prolonged exposure to chemicals used in drug labs may contribute to serious long term health issues (including brain, liver and kidney damage and cancer).

The location of drug labs in highly built-up and residential areas is always a concern for law enforcement and other government agencies. The waste produced from drug labs may also cause harm to the environment.

International efforts have long targeted the illicit diversion of the most common precursors for cocaine and heroin, potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride, respectively. The large licit market for these chemicals makes this a difficult task. For instance, diversion of less than one percent of worldwide licit commercial use of these chemicals would be sufficient to produce the world’s supply of heroin. Precursors can also be obtained from licit medicines as is the case for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in finished cold medicine products.

Heroin. The main precursor chemical used to produce heroin is acetic anhydride, a substance that is also widely used in legitimate industry. Drug trafficking organizations continue to channel acetic anhydride to illicit producers through diversion, or smuggling. With increased heroin consumption in and trafficking to the United States, as well as continuing production in Afghanistan, the United States has expanded its cooperative efforts to target acetic anhydride diversion and smuggling.

Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is produced using a variety of methods, but most require one or more of the following precursor chemicals; pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, pharmaceutical products containing these chemicals, phenyl-2-propanone (P-2-P), and phenylacetic acid. As these precursor chemicals have become more difficult to obtain due to increased diversion controls, traffickers have started using other chemicals, or seeking non-controlled pre-precursor chemicals or esters, and derivatives of phenylacetic acid to produce the precursor chemicals necessary for methamphetamine production. New production methods have also emerged. Traffickers, particularly in Europe, began using a pre-precursor, APAAN, or alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile.

Cocaine. Potassium permanganate, an oxidizer, is the primary chemical used to remove the impurities from cocaine base. It has many legitimate industrial uses, including waste water treatment, disinfectant, and deodorizer. Potassium permanganate also can be combined with pseudoephedrine to produce methcathinone, a synthetic stimulant that is a controlled substance.

They could well be consumer products also

Increasingly, drug traffickers use chemicals that are not controlled under the convention or the domestic laws of the source or importing country. They exploit countries that have limited enforcement and regulatory capacity. International cooperation against chemical diversion has also pushed trafficking groups to exploit domestic industry in a significant way. Traffickers continue to obtain chemicals produced in the country where illicit drugs are produced, thereby escaping international monitoring, surveillance, and interdiction efforts.

Canada’s “Controlled Drugs and Substances Act” (CDSA) and its regulations provide a legislative framework for the control of chemical precursors. Scheduling of substances under the CDSA and its regulations provides law enforcement agencies with the authority to take action against activities that are not in accordance with the law. These instruments also authorize Health Canada to communicate information collected to law enforcement agencies, border control officers, foreign competent authorities and the INCB if necessary.

Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is an illegal drug – a Class II controlled substance. It belongs to a group of stimulants known as amphetamines and it has psychoactive properties. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Common short term effects of using meth include: an intense high, elevated levels of energy and focus, euphoria, and loss of appetite. Long term effects include: insomnia, paranoia, agitation, irritability, signs of schizophrenia, tooth decay, weight loss, and cardiovascular damage. because of the tremendous risks associated with methamphetamine consumption and production and because, unlike cocaine and heroin, there is no drug crop to eradicate since methamphetamine is a completely synthetic drug. The chemicals used in methamphetamine production are pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and pharmaceutical preparations containing these substances (commonly known as “combination products”). Additionally, producers have developed chemicals similar to these products– called analogues – in an effort to evade chemical control laws.

The following, often in combination, may indicate the presence of a methamphetamine laboratory and the product noted are TDG regulated:

·        Unusual odors (ether, ammonia, acetone, or other chemicals)

·        Excessive amounts of trash, particularly chemical containers, coffee filters or pieces of cloth that are stained red, and duct tape rolls

·        Curtains always drawn or windows covered with aluminum foil or blackened on residences, garages, sheds, or other structures

·        Evidence of chemical waste or dumping

·        Frequent visitors, particularly at unusual times

·        Extensive security measures or attempts to ensure privacy (no trespassing or beware of dog signs, fences, large trees or shrubs)

·        Secretive or unfriendly occupants

Safe handling and disposal of chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs

https://www.unodc.org/documents/scientific/Disp.Manual_English.pdf

These chemicals are designated as those that are used in the manufacture of the controlled substances.

1.  Acetic anhydride

2.  Acetone

3.  Benzyl chloride

4.  Ethyl ether

5.  Potassium permanganate

6.  2-Butanone (or Methyl Ethyl Ketone or MEK)

7.  Toluene

8.  Hydrochloric acid (including anhydrous Hydrogen chloride)

9.  Sulfuric acid

10. Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)

11. Sodium permanganate

Special Observation list chemicals to be watching of in thefts or transport are!

This includes supplements which contain a listed chemical, regardless of their dosage form or packaging and regardless of whether the chemical mixture, drug product or dietary supplement is exempt from regulatory controls.

·        Ammonia gas

·        Ammonium formate

·        Bromobenzene

·        Carbonyldiimidazole

·        Cyclohexanone

·        1,1-Dichloro-1-fluoroethane (e.g. freon 141B)

·        Diethylamine and its salts

·        2,5-Dimethoxyphenethylamine and its salts

·        Formamide

·        Formic acid

·        Lithium metal

·        Lithium aluminum hydride

·        Magnesium metal (turnings)

·        Mercuric chloride

·        N-Methylformamide

·        Organomagnesium halides (Grignard reagents) (e.g. ethylmagnesium bromide and phenylmagnesium bromide)

·        Phenylethanolamine and its salts

·        Phosphorus pentachloride

·        Potassium dichromate

·        Pyridine and its salts

·        Sodium dichromate

·        Sodium metal

·        Thionyl chloride

·        ortho-Toluidine

·        Trichloromonofluoromethane (e.g. freon-11, carrene-2)

·        1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (e.g. freon 113)

What hazards are associated with them?

The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine are extremely hazardous. Some are highly volatile and may ignite or explode if mixed or stored improperly. Fire and explosion pose risks not only to the individuals producing the drug but also to anyone in the surrounding area, including children, neighbors, and passersby.

Even when fire or explosion does not occur, methamphetamine production is dangerous. Simply being exposed to the toxic chemicals used to produce the drug poses a variety of health risks, including intoxication, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, lack of coordination, pulmonary edema, serious respiratory problems, severe chemical burns, and damage to internal organs.

Inhalation. Inhaling chemical vapors and gases resulting from methamphetamine production causes shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. Exposure to these vapors and gases may also cause intoxication, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, lack of coordination, pulmonary edema, chemical pneumonitis, and other serious respiratory problems when absorbed into the body through the lungs.

Skin Contact. The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine may cause serious burns if they come into contact with the skin.

Ingestion. Toxic chemicals can be ingested either by consuming contaminated food or beverages or by inadvertently consuming the chemicals directly. (Young children present at laboratory sites are at particular risk of ingesting chemicals.) Ingesting toxic chemicals–or methamphetamine itself–may result in potentially fatal poisoning, internal chemical burns, damage to organ function, and harm to neurological and immunologic functioning.

In addition, methamphetamine production threatens the environment. The average methamphetamine laboratory produces 5 to 7 pounds of toxic waste for every pound of methamphetamine produced. Operators often dispose of this waste improperly, simply by dumping it near the laboratory. This can cause contamination of the soil and nearby water supplies.

Methamphetamine Laboratory Hazards

Chemical

Hazards

Pseudoephedrine

Ingestion of doses greater than 240 mg causes hypertension, arrhythmia, anxiety, dizziness, and vomiting. Ingestion of doses greater than 600 mg can lead to renal failure and seizures.

Acetone/ ethyl alcohol

 

Extremely flammable, posing a fire risk in and around the laboratory. Inhalation or ingestion of these solvents causes severe gastric irritation, narcosis, or coma.

Freon

Inhalation can cause sudden cardiac arrest or severe lung damage. It is corrosive if ingested.

Anhydrous ammonia

A colorless gas with a pungent, suffocating odor. Inhalation causes edema of the respiratory tract and asphyxia. Contact with vapors damages eyes and mucous membranes.

Red phosphorus

May explode as a result of contact or friction. Ignites if heated above 260° C. Vapor from ignited phosphorus severely irritates the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes.

Hypophosphorous acid

Extremely dangerous substitute for red phosphorus. If overheated, deadly phosphine gas is released. Poses a serious fire and explosion hazard.

Lithium metal

Extremely caustic to all body tissues. Reacts violently with water and poses a fire or explosion hazard.

Hydriodic acid

A corrosive acid with vapors that are irritating to the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. If ingested, causes severe internal irritation and damage that may cause death.

Iodine crystals

Give off vapor that is irritating to respiratory system and eyes. Solid form irritates the eyes and may burn skin. If ingested, cause severe internal damage.

 Phenylpropanolamine

Ingestion of doses greater than 75 mg causes hypertension, arrhythmia, anxiety, and dizziness. Quantities greater than 300 mg can lead to renal failure, seizures, stroke, and death.

What can I do?

If you suspect that someone in your neighborhood is operating a methamphetamine laboratory, report your concerns to the local police department or sheriff’s office immediately. For your own safety, do not investigate the suspected laboratory or confront the occupants. In addition to the hazards discussed above, many laboratories are equipped with security devices or booby traps that could cause serious injuries or death.

Products Used in Methamphetamine Production

Acetone

Alcohol (isopropyl or rubbing)

Anhydrous ammonia (fertilizer)

Ephedrine (cold medications)

Ether (engine starter)

Hydrochloric acid (pool supply)

Iodine (flakes or crystal)

Kitty litter

Lithium (batteries)

Methanol (gasoline additive)

MSM (nutritional supplement)

Pseudoephedrine (cold medications)

Red phosphorus (matches or road flares)

Salt (table or rock)

Sodium hydroxide (lye)

Sodium metal

Sulfuric acid (drain cleaner)

Toluene (brake cleaner)

Trichloroethane (gun cleaner)

Name a Precursor and Dangerous goods at the same time!

Precursors.

·        N-acetylanthranilic acid

·        methaqualone

·        anthranilic acid

·        methaqualone

·        benzaldehyde

·        amphetamine

·        phenyl-2-propanone

·        benzyl cyanide

·        phenyl-2-propanone

·        ephedrine and pseudoephedrine

·        methamphetamine

·        methcathinone

·        ergocristineergonovine and ergotamine

·        LSD

·        ethylamine

·        ethylamphetamine

·        GBL

·        GHB

·        safroleisosafrole and 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylpropan-2-one

·        MDMAMDEAMDA

·        methylamine

·        methamphetamine

·        N-methylephedrine and N-methylpseudoephedrine

·        dimethylamphetamine

·        N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP)

·        fentanyl and analogues

·        nitroethane

·        amphetamine

·        MDA

·        phenyl-2-propanone

·        norpseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine

·        amphetamine

·        4-methylaminorex

·        phenylacetic acid

·        phenyl-2-propanone

·        piperidine

·        phencyclidine (PCP)

·        piperonal (heliotropin)

·        MDMAMDEAMDA

·        propionic anhydride

·        fentanyl and analogues

·        acetic anhydride

·        heroin

·        methaqualone

·        phenyl-2-propanone

·        benzyl chloride

·        methamphetamine

Reagents.

·        hydriodic acid

·        methamphetamine

·        hypophosphorous acid

·        amphetamine

·        methamphetamine

·        iodine

·        amphetamine

·        methamphetamine

·        red phosphorus and white phosphorus

·        amphetamine

·        methamphetamine

·        potassium permanganate

·        cocaine

·        sodium permanganate

·        cocaine

·        hydrochloric acid (hydrogen chloride)

·        Amphetamine

·        Cocaine

·        N,N-Dimethylamphetamine

·        Ethylamphetamine

·        Fentanyl and analogues

·        Heroin

·        LSD

·        MDA

·        MDE

·        MDMA

·        Methamphetamine

·        Methaqualone

·        Methcathinone

·        Phencyclidine (PCP)

·        sulfuric acid

·        Amphetamine

·        Cocaine

·        MDA

·        MDE

·        MDMA

·        Methamphetamine

·        Methaqualone

·        Phenyl-2-propanone

Solvents.

·        acetone

·        cocaine

·        Heroin

·        LSD

·        MDA

·        MDE

·        MDMA

·        Methamphetamine

·        diethyl ether

·        Amphetamine

·        Cocaine

·        Fentanyl and analogues

·        Heroin

·        LSD

·        MDA

·        MDE

·        MDMA

·        Methamphetamine

·        Methaqualone

·        Methcathinone

·        Phencyclidine (PCP)

·        Phenyl-2-propanone

·        methylethylketone (butanone) and methyl isobutyl ketone

·        cocaine

·        heroin

·        MDA

·        MDEA

·        methamphetamine

·        toluene

·        cocaine

·        fentanyl and analogues

·        methaqualone

·        phencyclidine (PCP)

·        phenyl-2-propanone

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Leaves, rakes and fall risks to your yard safety hazards.

Yes it is fall and the leaves are falling every where so as you rake and swear there must be a better way or wonder if you get all the raking done, what hazards are you looking at in this fall yard activity? Fall is the season nature paints beautiful landscapes of various shades of orange, red, yellow and brown in our yards and hillsides. This is the time of year the green leaves change colors to make this magnificent scenery as they slowly fall to the ground, making this scenic wonder a chore for many homeowners and even a safety risk.

Oh did you mention snake in the list, snakes like to lurk. Don’t invite slithery trouble into your own home either: Keep your lawn trimmed, don’t leave piles of brush or debris in your yard and periodically check storage sheds, garages and basements for openings a snake may find enticing. Be especially careful around ivy: It’s the highly venomous copperhead snake’s favorite hideout.

Homeowners respond in various ways. Some choose to bury the leaves, others rake them up and bag them while others decide to make a pile and burn them. This latter decision can become a major safety hazard, especially during a drought. So let’s review some safety measures to help keep your property safe around your home in the fall to help reduce safety risks during a drought.

Use caution when burning leaves/brush. Clear leaves away from your home and other buildings. Burn leaves only when permitted and in accordance with local laws and guidelines. Use extreme caution to ensure safety and control of the fire. Currently there is a ban on burning trash, leaves or brush outdoors in Jefferson County, along with other counties throughout the state, due to drought conditions. Another reason for the burning bans has been to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone. Efforts to reduce ozone in Alabama have been very successful. May through the beginning of October is typically very dry in this state.

It is important that you develop a safety zone around your home free from tall grass, brush or other flammable vegetation.

It’s that time of year again, time for raking leaves. Did you know that raking leaves for a long period of time, without taking a break, can be dangerous to your health? This is especially true if you are a male over 40, or a female over 50, and suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

It’s very important to visit your physician before starting any new exercise program, and that includes raking. Hours of raking, non-stop, can be strenuous to the heart. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY

Speaking of backache, be sure to practice proper raking technique before, during, and after your work. Raking is a real workout, and you need to warm up your body by stretching before you start.

While you’re raking, be sure to keep a good posture and stand upright. Switch your main (bottom) hand on a regular basis, and always bend at the knees (not the back) when you stoop to pick up a pile.

Also, don’t try to do too much at once. Divide your yard into sections and work on them over a period of days. Or, if you have limited time, take breaks in between each section to drink water and rest.

As enticing as they may appear, hidden dangers could be lurking under leaf piles that parents would be wise to keep in mind.

For example, if the leaves are wet – which, given the amount it rains, is not uncommon – you risk your child coming into contact with certain bacteria such as mould.

This can be especially harmful to kids who suffer from asthma or have an allergy to the fungus.

Piles of fallen leaves could also be home to nasty parasites like ticks.

“If you rake a bunch of leaves up from (where your yard meets the woods) there is a possibility that there is a tick but only if there are ticks there to begin with.”

It also pays to be aware of potential physical hazards that could be lurking in piles of leaves.

If they’ve been raked up, stones and sharp sticks may have found their way into the stack, while if it’s been there for a few days it may be inhabited by frogs, mice and biting insects.

Scarier still, in 2014 two young girls in Oregon, US, were killed after a driver failed to spot them playing in a pile of leaves and drove an SUV straight over them.

Listen, we don’t want to spoil ALL your fun – just make sure any leaves you jump in are freshly raked and in a safe location.

Maintain your yard by keeping your trees and shrubs pruned around chimney outlets. Also keep your entire yard mowed, raked and free of dead limbs. Regularly clean your gutters and roof to make sure they are free of debris. Maintain an adequate water supply around your home.

Don’t park any motorized vehicles on the grass for several reasons, but especially during the drought because the grass/shrubs/fallen leaves are very dry. Exhaust systems can far exceed the 500 degrees it takes to start a summer/fall brush fire. It is wise to always stay on pavement at your home and even if you have to pull off to the side of the road while traveling.

Place some household tools close by just in case you need to use them before the fire department is able to arrive. These firefighting tools are items such as a rake, ax, bucket, shovel, etc.

But what about the RAKE

Raking your lawn is a necessary task when the leaves start to fall. However, there are some things that you can do to make the job easier on yourself, such as getting a quality rake and using the proper body position. You can also make the task easier by waiting until the right time to rake and wearing the proper gear for the job. By combining these techniques, your yard will be leaf free in no time. Match your rake to the type of leaves you have in your yard and to your body. At stores, try rakes on for size before you buy. Rakes with metal tines last longer than plastic ones, but plastic tines may be lighter

Use a quality rake. Many people have an old rake in the tool shed, but an older rake may not be as efficient as a new one. To make raking more efficient, invest in a quality rake.

·        Look for a rake that has an ergonomic handle and that is lightweight. This will help to reduce the strain on your back.

·        Choosing a rake that has a wide end will also help to ensure that you can rake up as many leaves a possible with every sweep.

Position your body properly. Proper body positioning is also essential to successful raking. Some things to keep in mind when you rake include:

·        Your hand positions. When you hold the rake, grasp it with both hands and change your hand positions now and then as you rake.

·        Your knees. Keep your knees slightly bent. Try not to bend too far forward at the waist.

·        Your movement. It is helpful to move backwards as you rake. Try to rake the leaves towards you as you walk backwards.

Transport your leaves with a tarp. You can also save time and energy by raking your leaves onto a tarp, sheet, or canvas cloth. Before you begin raking, lay out a tarp or other large piece of material on the ground. Then, begin raking the leaves onto the tarp.

·        Rake one area of your yard until the tarp is full, then drag the tarp to your main pile.

·        If you prefer, you can also rake your leaves directly into bags. Then, you can transport the bags to a mulch pile or other disposal area.

Stomp on your pile. As you rake leaves onto the tarp or into bags, make sure that you stomp them down now and then. This will help to ensure that you have plenty of room for all of your leaves.

·        To stomp on your leaves, simply step on them or put one foot into the leaf bag to stomp them down.

·        If you are using bags, just try to avoid filling the bags too full. You should still be able to pick the bags up easily.

Mow early fall leaves into your lawn. In early fall, there might not be enough leaves on the ground to justify raking your whole lawn. However, if you have some early fall leaves that are bothering you, then you can mow them into your lawn. This will help to give your lawn extra nutrients and save you some time.

Choose a calm day to rake. Windy conditions will make raking more difficult. If possible, wait for a calm day to do your raking. However, if you have to rake on a windy day, then try to rake the leaves with the wind and not against it.

·        For example, you could place your pile on the side of the yard that the wind is blowing towards. Then, rake all of your leaves in that direction.

Ensure that the leaves are dry. Check the leaves for dampness before you begin raking. If the leaves are wet, then they will be harder to rake. They will also weigh down the bags or other containers that you put them in, which will make it harder for you to move them.

·        To make your job a little easier, wait until the leaves are dry to start raking them. Watch the weather and check the leaves before you get started.

·        PPE  Wear gloves. Holding the handle of the rake can cause blisters on your hands. Your hands may also get dirty from picking up leaves from your pile and placing them into bags. To protect your hands, make sure that you wear a pair of heavy duty canvas or leather work gloves.

Wear long sleeves and pants. Wearing long sleeves and pants is also a good idea when you are doing yard work. Even if the weather is not cold yet, there may be insects, snakes, and other small creatures lurking in your yard. Wearing long pants and long sleeves will help to protect you from bites.

·        A pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt is a good choice for raking leaves.

·        You can wear a jacket and a hat too if the weather is cold.

Use a mask if you have allergies. If you will be mulching your leaves or if you have allergies, then you may want to wear a mask over your face. This will help to protect you from breathing in the dust and allergens released as you rake and mulch your leaves.

Terry Penney