If you’re assembling a timber frame garden building, constructing a pool or simply mowing your lawn, it pays to exercise proper safety precautions. According to CPSC data, every year approximately 400,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries from lawn and garden tools. Top of the ‘dangers of gardening’ list are riding lawnmowers and garden tractors along with power tools used for construction and maintenance. But beyond heavy tools and equipment, there are a plethora of hazards in your outdoor space that you need to be aware of. Here’s a quick guide of garden safety tips.
POWER IN YOUR HANDS
Whilst power tools offer efficient ways to achieve quick results, precautions must be taken at all times during their use. It’s all too easy to be overconfident when sawing lumber or to take a shortcut when trimming shrubs, but this is when things can become one of the dangers of gardening. Be prepared by dressing appropriately: close-fitting clothes that cover arms and legs; sturdy shoes with non-slip soles; heavy gloves; eye protection; and ear plugs when using noisy machinery. Keep children indoors at all times and ensure tools are disconnected before leaving them unattended. To protect against electrocution, never work with electric tools in the damp, and use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Always show great caution when using power tools and take your time to complete the job with patience and care.
GARDEN TOOL DANGERS
Even traditional garden tools can potentially cause harm when left unattended or used incorrectly. Store sharp tools, together with any chemical products, such as insecticides and varnishes, in a locked outdoor storage shed to ensure they are out-of-reach of children. And when using your garden tools, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only use them for their intended purposes. To avoid strains and sprains, it’s a good idea to vary your gardening activities, rotating between digging, trimming and planting, so that repetitive motions are kept to a minimum.
SPLASH IN SAFETY
A water feature can add tranquil splendor and be a source of family fun in your outdoor space, however, this comes at a risk. Young children can drown in less than two inches of water, so it’s vital you take adequate precautions and follow these essential garden pool safety tips. If you have a pond or pool, place a fence around it and establish rules for the family. It’s a good idea to use slip-resistant paint where people walk to prevent falls. Also install landscape lighting around your water to reduce dangers at night.
It’s all too easy to overlook natural hazards. Be aware of any poisonous plants that might pose a danger to children or pets. Wearing gloves will give you protection from skin irritant plants as well as thorny objects, bacteria and chemicals. When exposed to soil, the smallest cuts are at risk of infection so it’s important to keep up-to-date with tetanus/diphtheria vaccinations. And don’t overlook the risk of sun exposure whilst gardening: stay hydrated and be wary of sunburn.
There are many physical benefits to be had from gardening, together with a great satisfaction of creating an attractive outdoor space. And as long as the above garden safety tips are observed and rules adhered to, then we can all enjoy our gardening activities without the worry of injuries, pain and upset.
Article By: Sally Writes
Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash