Warm summer weather is perfect for spending time outdoors in the sun. For many people, this includes time spent relaxing poolside or getting out on the water in a boat. Unfortunately, while decks and docks are perfect for lounging, launching and diving, they can also be dangerous. Slips, falls, snags and other dangers can put a serious damper on your summertime fun.
To keep you safe, here are four simple steps you can take to avoid deck and dock accidents and injuries:
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1. Check Your Bolts
One of the easiest things you can do to prevent accidents and injuries on docks and decks is to take a look at your structure’s hardware. Whether you source carriage bolts from Baco Enterprises or a similar provider, you’ll want to make sure all bolts are secure and that no heads are protruding. If you do encounter protruding or unsecured bolts, contact a repair professional if you don’t feel comfortable making safe adjustments yourself.
Most docks and decks use galvanized carriage bolts or zinc carriage bolts that resist corrosion from moisture exposure. These types of bolts are also beneficial in that they have a flat head and do not turn when a nut is tightened. Even with these features, options like HDG carriage bolts and stainless steel carriage bolts need to be examined on a regular basis so no one trips over them or snags an article of clothing on a protruding bolt.
2. Practice Safe Movement
It’s recommended that you never run around decks and docks. This is especially true for wet dock or deck surfaces that can cause slips and falls. When you walk, it’s best to do so using a heel-to-toe technique with each step. This adds deliberate motion and a greater degree of balance and focus.
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You’re also encouraged to wear a flotation device while on a dock or deck. Even if you’re a skilled swimmer, wearing a life vest or similar device will add an additional layer of protection should you suddenly fall in the water and find yourself startled.
3. Use The Buddy System
Whenever possible, have at least one other person with you when you’re using a dock or deck. This person can assist you in an emergency. If the person can not render aid, they can call for help. In the event that you become incapacitated, this person can also provide key details about what took place to first responders.
This is also beneficial in the event that you become stuck in the water and are unable to get out. Such situations can occur if your foot gets caught on an underwater branch or root in a lake. It can also happen if you become caught on a pool frame railing.
4. Be Mindful Of Cords And Ropes
Cords and ropes are often used around docks and decks to moor marine vessels and to keep up with various pool accessories. While ropes and cords can be useful, they can also lead to trips and snags. On top of that, cords that have been left out for long periods of time can become dry and rotten. Damaged cords and cords that have frayed are a serious safety hazard and need to be replaced.
Always follow proper storage and knotting when using cords and ropes on a dock or deck. Only moor watercraft to predetermined spots, and only attach the minimum number of cords and ropes needed. Excess ends can lead to accidents.
It’s also important to think about how taut or loose a line is. If you reach for a loose line expecting it to be taut, your balance can be thrown off and cause you to tumble into the water, other people, onto decking surfaces and more. You want to read about which group is a primary supporter of hunter education?