Health and safety in the garden
Posted on 26th Mar, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham
Now that spring has finally sprung in the UK, it’s time to spruce up those gardens. While gardening may feel like a pleasurable, relaxing activity – especially when the sun is shining – there are still many potential incidents and accidents to be made aware of. In this article, we discuss our simple tips for health and safety in the garden.
Each year, thousands of people are injured while gardening.
A large proportion of these accidents occur from falls, cuts and lifting injuries – all of which could have been easily avoided with the right access equipment and by following basic safety precautions.
Causes of gardening-related accidents
While it’s easy to think accidents like this would never happen to you, injuries from gardening-related activities can happen more easily than you think:
Taking shortcuts. No matter how easy a job looks, it’s important to carry it out in a safe and secure manner.
Make sure you use the right equipment and ensure everything is set up correctly. Those few extra minutes put into the preparation and planning can help to ensure your safety.
Lack of skill or training. Following basic health and safety guidelines is key to staying safe when using access equipment.
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the product before use and consider booking on to one of our safety training courses.
Ignorance of potential risk. It’s all to common to think you’re invincible – or to think that nothing bad can happen while on a ladder for five minutes.
If you have this mindset it’s crucial to change it. The risks of falls and injuries are real and need to be considered at all times.
Working safely in the garden
The most common piece of access equipment used in the garden is a stepladder. When using stepladders it’s important to remain mindful of the following key safety points:
Inspect the ladder before use and ensure the ladder’s rungs are structurally sound and not damaged, rusty or dented.
Make sure the ladder’s feet are on solid, even ground and that each step is clean and dry.
Never work sideways. Directly face your work.
Don’t overstretch yourself. Ensure the ladder gives you enough height for the job.
Never leave tools on the platform at the top of the ladder.
Check the ladder has rubber feet to prevent it slipping.
Keep one hand firmly on the ladder when working.
We also recommend that you wear the right Personal Protective Equipment to avoid serious injury – for example steel-toe capped boots, goggles, ear-defenders and gloves.
Our star products
At Browns, you’ll find a whole range of products made especially for garden use. Below, you’ll find just two of our top recommendations:
Aluminium Platform Tripod Ladders – This tripod ladder has a much deeper working step than our standard tripod ladders and has a handrail to lean or hold on to.
This makes it the perfect choice for more cautious gardeners working at a fixed height. Manufactured from welded aluminium alloy extrusions, this ladder is lightweight yet strong and has a safe working load of 100kg.
Henchman Platform Tripod Ladder – The wide platform step on this ladder allows you to work safely at a height and leaves 3ft of ladder to lean against, increasing your stability.
The feet are designed for soft ground and help prevent slipping or sinking. The three-legged design also allows for better access in difficult areas – making the ladder well suited to fruit picking and topiary work, as well as pruning and light hedge trimming.