Gardening is an excellent way to get physically fit and if you’re a professional landscape gardener or outdoor handyman, it’s also a lovely way to earn a living. But there are a number of safety risks to consider, and, whether you’re an amateur flower gardener or professional gardener, health and safety should always be a priority.
There is plenty in the average garden to protect yourself from. With chemicals, motorised equipment, sharp objects, garden pests and the harmful rays of the sun, there are any number of things to consider. Here are our top tips to keep you healthy and safe in your garden so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.
What should you wear?
You should always wear trousers as opposed to shorts and sturdy shoes (not sandals) to prevent injuries as much as possible. When using electrical or motorised equipment, you should also wear safety goggles to protect you from flying grass, twigs, mud, stones and other debris.
A good pair of gloves is another part of the discerning gardener’s kit to protect from cuts, skin irritations and certain contaminants. An insect repellant containing DEET will keep the bugs away, while sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 or higher should always be worn when the sun is out.
Electrically powered tools certainly make gardening a lot easier, but they also increase the risk of a serious accident. For that reason, when using any electrical items in the garden, it’s essential you take care. Our top tips include:
Using a Residual Current Device (RCD) with all outdoor electrical equipment. This is a potentially life-saving device that protects against electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fire. Here is more information on RCDs.
Always store equipment in a dry, safe place and check it has not been damaged or affected by the weather before use.
Never, never, never use electrical equipment in wet conditions.
Always unplug any electrical item before checking it, adjusting it or cleaning it.
Cut grass, not cables!
Extra special care needs to be taken when you’re using a lawnmower, hedge trimmer or any other cutting device. One of the most important things to think about is keeping the cables and connections free from damage. You should also follow these other suggestions to stay safe:
Buy a good quality lawnmower from a reputable manufacturer and always be extremely wary of second-hand mowers.
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Always unplug the lawn mower and wait for the blades to stop turning before performing any maintenance or cleaning glass blockages. The same applies to hedge trimmers when removing any jams.
Always wear sturdy shoes when mowing the lawn
Always keep children well away from any garden appliance.
Follow these tips to enjoy many years of happy, healthy and safe gardening. And here are some discount vouchers for Homebase, B&Q and other retailers to help your efforts go just a little bit further.