Lewis | August 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
‘How to…’ Series #4: Keep Safe.
Safety is a key concept that is and should be championed in all walks of life. No matter what you enjoy doing, you should always do it safely to ensure you and/or others around you do not come to harm. The same principle is the same for gardening. It may not be the first thought to one’s head when risky pastimes are pondered. You’d usually think free-running and other adrenaline sports would be first! You’d even put your traditional activities such as football and rugby high on the list. However, there are dangers in the garden that people should be aware about. Hopefully this, the latest in our ‘How to…’ Series of blogs will help you avoid these dangers to help enjoy what you were doing in the first place: gardening.
There are hazards lurking around every corner in your garden and when you’re concentrating on the gardening at hand, it can be surprisingly easy to forget them. Here’s five key things to bear in mind to make sure you are not only protected from these hazards, but hopefully they will fail to occur altogether.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
PPE plays a large part in our industry; not only is it a legislative requirement, but it also ensures the safety of our employees, which of course is a paramount concern. However, just because it is necessary in a commercial aspect does not mean it should be ignored from a domestic one. This equipment is designed to stop you from coming to harm, to lessen any potential injury and in some cases, PPE is there to save your life. Therefore, when using your hands, ensure you are wearing gardening gloves. It is key to use PPE when handling gardening equipment such as strimmers and lawn mowers; wearing steel-capped boots, ear-defenders and goggles will help you. If you are unsure, talk to an expert.
A number of threatening diseases lurk in your garden, but perhaps the most high-profile is tetanus. It lives in the soil and can enter your body through cuts and other lesions. Not only does this highlight the use of PPE further, but it should also encourage you to ensure you are up to date with your vaccinations. Tetanus and diphtheria jabs should be sought after every 10 years.
Gardening Tools and Equipment
It can be easy to forget that even what is at your disposal in your gardening quest can cause you harm, too. This isn’t just limited to machinery; even the smaller gardening tools can be a threat if you let your guard down. Therefore, keep tools in certain places. For example, do not leave secateurs or other sharp implements on the open ground where you can trip on them and possibly cause you harm. Leave them in a certain, safe spot when they aren’t in use. Another tip is, when using a ladder to, say, trim and prune your hedgerows, always face your work, never overstretch yourself and always keep on hand on the ladder itself if you can.
When there is a body of water involved, the danger increases considerably, especially with small children, who can fall in. Therefore, if you do have a pond or wish to have one in your garden, ensure it is visible from the house for starters. You can even create physical barriers around the pond, whether it be fencing or a selection of water-dwelling plants to discourage young children. Either way, try to create gentle-sloping edges around the pond, instead of steep drops into the water.
General Safety Measures
As always, there’s less-specific but just-as-important information to take in. A good start is to decide against venturing out into the garden when the conditions are a little more treacherous, such as during the Winter. Not only this, you could think about having a garden that is a little less maintenance and of course, just be careful!
So there you have it! The fourth in our How to… Series of blogs has come to an end! It feels like we are rocketing through them already; it’s a bit like deja vu from the Garden Pests Series! We hope you enjoyed it nonetheless; keep an eye out for the next issue, which will discuss the idea of going organic!
Oakleigh Manor Limited are a multi-disciplinary company specialising in providing all outdoor needs under one roof, for all size and styles of external spaces. Our expertise has led us to numerous national awards, but what fuels us every day is the ethos we adopt: to create unique, bespoke projects. You can see perfect examples of these by looking at our Oak Framed Garden Rooms webpage.