It is important to protect yourself to the best of your ability from toxic chemicals and metals by reducing exposure and wearing protective gear. The amount of protection you will need depends on the situation.
Suiting up for the garden may be a lighter matter than oil spill cleanup. In some situations, gloves, an apron or full length clothing and a face mask may be enough, while others may demand rain gear, Tyvek® or Tychem® suit, respirator with proper filter, eye goggles, boots, hat, and more.
Before you throw down with your earth repair work, find out what sorts of contaminants you may be exposed to and always better to go for more protection than less.
Also take precautions with your clean-up gear. Do not wear the clothes or shoes you are working in inside or in other environments. Keep them separate and out of reach of any children. If you take a shower or wash off after you are finished working on your site, avoid using hot water, as it can open up your pores and help contaminants on your skin go deeper.
Take the proper safety measures. If you do not know what the risk level is of the work you are doing or what you can do to protect yourself, do some research or ask a trustworthy professional. Though be suspect when asking the corporation that caused the problem, as many corporations seem to have a history of downplaying risks and not properly protecting community folks.
It is also important to know that often even the best protective gear cannot offer complete protection and can become less effective due to things like environmental conditions or improper use. So pair up your protective gear with preventative medicine and ally with the many different healing foods, plants and mushrooms medicines to keep yourself healthy.