Around half a million people are injured and 50 killed in their gardens each year. Heads, hands and feet are most at risk. Give a thought for safety when tending your pride and joy.
Pay attention when using equipment, especially if it is electrical. Ensure cables run behind equipment, never cut towards a flex or use in the rain or wet conditions and use an RCD with any electrical garden appliance.
Never clean, lift, adjust or even check electrical garden tools while they are still plugged in. Always switch off and unplug first. Only clear grass from a power mower when it is switched off and the spark plug cap has been removed.
Never wash electrical garden equipment with water - switch off first, unplug and then wipe it with a cloth. Never use extension leads for permanent fixings such as greenhouse lighting or heating.
Never work in bare feet. Wear strong shoes or boots. Hover mowers and trimmers can easily drift and injure a foot.
If there are old materials such as asbestos and lead in your garden, get advice about handling it from your local authority or call in a professional.
Watch uneven paving, slippery paths and broken concrete - they can cause accidents.
Barbecues and bonfires are fun when they are safely set up and handled.
Position them away from obvious dangers such as fences, sheds and low trees.
Never leave them unattended and ensure bonfires are completely out before you leave them.
Don't use paraffin or petrol - special firelighters or starter fluids are safe but still require to be treated with respect, as with any inflammable material and stored safely.
Don't wear loose clothing.
Keep children away!
Never use them indoors to avoid a possible build up of carbon monoxide gas.
For some, gardening is attention to detail, planning variety and colour. For others, it is the physically demanding jobs which bring satisfaction. They can also bring their own dangers...
Foresters undergo rigorous instruction before being allowed to use a chainsaw. We can hire one over the counter. Think carefully about how to use one safely and never climb a tree with a chainsaw. If you are working in trees, work with a companion - in case of an accident, there is someone to get help immediately. (See also advice on chainsaws)
Some chemicals seem to be a necessity of modern gardening life and even organic gardeners come across them. Wear goggles and face masks when using any kind of treatment to safeguard eyes from drifting spray.
Beware the uncapped bamboo cane: one of the simplest tools in the garden, it can also be the most dangerous. Invest in rubber or plastic cane caps to help protect eyes.
- DIY safety
- Building regulations
- Electrics safety
- Electrical regulations
- Plumbing regulations
- DIY. It's as safe as houses - or is it?
- Don't be a DIY disaster - common sense prevails
- Before you start
- Gas alert
- Rungs to success - ladder safety
- Buying and hiring
- And if there is an accident ...