gardener cutting branch

Safety tips for gardeners

Posted on 1st Feb, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham

Working outdoors is an extremely appealing prospect to most people, especially in the spring and summer time. However, those that do work outside face many hazards and risks on a daily basis. From falls from a height to manual handling injuries, a gardener has to be on guard at all times. Whether your job includes landscaping or cutting down trees, we highlight the main risks and how to stay safe while gardening in today’s blog…

Injuries and risk factors


Although the number of injuries in the horticulture and landscaping injury fell from 1,750 to 1,500 between 2003-2008, a high number of accidents still occur. With a huge number of risks it’s remarkable easy to get hurt, and suffer minor injury or sometimes even death.

Common risks in the industry include

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Falls from height
  • Bad weather
  • Handling chemicals
  • Manual handling
  • Handling sharp or dangerous equipment, including blades and shears

In one year alone 6,500 Brits were hurt by a lawn mower, 3,100 sustained an injury while using hedge-trimmers, and 115,000 ended up in hospital due to a fall. The numbers, as identified in a report by Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, show that accidents can happen more easily, and more frequently than you think – with some of the accidents resulting from something simple.

Further data from the Society’s research showed that while the most common accident in the garden is a fall, the biggest threat to people gardening is a cut, while being struck by things is common too.

Staying safe while working outdoors

safety tips for gardeners

Despite the laid back feel of much outdoor work it’s important to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment before beginning a job. This will help you to identify and evaluate all hazards.

Some of the safety measures you might like to employ include:

  • Adequate protection against cold temperatures.
  • Proper skin protection while working in the sun.
  • Training for all employees working with mechanised and / or dangerous tools.
  • Training for all employees using garden ladders or working from a height.
  • Precautions taken when working with electricity in the garden – due to the presence of water and the risk of cutting cables running over ground.
  • Proper understanding of manual handling, practicing correct manual handling at all times.
  • Correct storage of garden chemicals subject to COSHH regulations.
  • Proper handling of garden chemicals and the use of PPE where necessary
  • Awareness of infectious agents and proper hygiene methods followed. E.coli may be present in manure, while other parasites and bacteria like tetanus may be present in soil.

Our training courses are designed to cover many of the issues raised in today’s blog. Particularly relevant courses include:

Working at Height Training

Manual Handling Training

One Day Emergency First Aid at Work Training

To find out more about any of these course offerings, or to book your place, give the Course Enquiries team a call today on 01282 615517

Are you a gardener? If so, what measures do you take to stay safe at work? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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