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Garden maintenance

How to avoid gardening accidents

How to avoid gardening accidents

With the Easter and May bank holidays upon us there are sure to be more strange attempts at gardening technique that will result in serious injury from gardening accidents. Here’s a few guidelines to help the more carefree gardeners avoid A&E this spring.

High or awkward hedges are a great way of taking a nasty fall if you choose to improvise. Firstly, can you cut it from the ground if you had the right tools? There are plenty of long reach and extendable machines on the market that have multi attachments for a reasonable price. If you have to get off the ground to cut a high hedge, then try to avoid using a ladder and go for a platform instead. They are a good investment and there are numerous platform/stepladder combinations that offer good value. Remember, when you are cutting off long hedge branches of over 8 inches the blade will not fire the hedge cutting at you, but when you come to get it really level and need to just take an inch or two off, then the blade will fire the short cuttings off of the teeth at high speed in all directions, so please wear eye protection, especially when doing tops at head level.

A surprising number of accidents occur from just cutting grass. If it’s electric then keep an eye on cable routing and don’t cut when it’s wet or the grass is damp. Check your leads and use a power breaker. For petrol machines, if you can afford it, buy a machine with a blade brake. These stop the blade when emptying the grass box but keep the engine running avoiding the need to keep pulling the engine over. Should you need to unblock the deck, always switch the engine off and take off the plug lead. When you turn the blade you are turning the engine and it could start with your hands on the blade. Remember to turn the machine so that the carburetor is uppermost. Bizarrely there are instances of people mowing their own feet so please wear boots, preferably steel toecapped. Do not attempt to mow steep banks, leave that to the strimmer.

Strimmers can cause there own damage. Debris coming off of the line is the main problem. Always wear eye protection and keep people well away from the working area, especially inquisitive kids at just the right height to get hit by a loose bit of shingle in the grass . Cover your patio doors and low windows to protect from stones. Wear boots and gloves.

General gardening

  • wear boots and gloves
  • wear knee pads or use a knee protector
  • do not leave tools laying around the garden
  • wear protective gloves
  • wear nitrile gloves and take special care when using glyphosphate based weedkillers
  • don’t overdo it!

Hedge cutting

  • check power leads and use a breaker
  • do not work in the wet
  • use long reach tools from the ground if possible
  • use a platform rather than steps

Grass cutting

  • check power leads and use a breaker
  • do not work in the wet
  • do not mow steep banks
  • wear boots
  • unplug spark plug lead when turning petrol machine over
  • wear eye and feet protection when strimming

Chain saw

  • use a bow saw instead
  • get some training
  • wear forestry hat and face shield
  • wear chainsaw gloves and trousers if possible
  • check power leads and use a breaker
  • do not work in the wet
  • use long reach tools from the ground if possible
  • use a platform rather than steps

If you are in doubt about your ability to carry out a gardening task than get in a professional

Just remember, gardening can be fun, but stay safe

 

 

 

 

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