Whether you are an experienced gardener or you are just getting started in this hobby, it is important that you stay safe. Even when you are just completing simple tasks, there are numerous threats out there which you should stay protected against and you especially need to be careful if you are handling power tools or other sharp implements.
In this post, we will look closer at some of the best ways that you can stay safe and protected while you are out in your garden. As well as making sure you follow procedures properly, there are also a host of protective measures that you can take including wearing the right clothing. Let’s start with this issue and move onto some others afterwards.
Dress With Protection in Mind
Just a few of the threats that you should be defending yourself against when you are out in the garden include garden pests and other creatures, harmful chemicals, dangerous equipment, damaging weather conditions, and poisonous or prickly plants.
To start off with, you should look to wear safety goggles to protect your eyesight, particularly when you are operating power tools when it is more likely that loose objects will fly back into your eyes. Sturdy shoes will protect your feet from anything heavy or sharp falling on them, while it is also a good idea to wear long trousers (pants). When you are using loud machinery, you should wear hearing defenders as this is something which can end up being permanently damaged if you are exposed to loud noises for too long.
Gloves should be worn at all times as these will help to reduce the risk of skin irritation, cuts and contaminants. During the summer months, insects and other pests become more of a problem, so you could try using insect repellent that contains DEET.
Long sleeved shirts mean that less of your skin will be exposed to them. Not only this, you help to protect yourself against sunburn. You can also protect further against this issue by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen with a high factor, particularly on any skin that is subject to sustained sun exposure such as the back of your neck. Ideally, you should be looking for sunscreen with an spf factor of 30 or above and you should reapply it at least every 2 hours.
Understand How to Properly Use the Tools
There is no doubt that power tools make gardening a huge amount simpler – just visit PlanoPower.com for some of the different options out there but before you invest in anything, you should make sure that you are completely comfortable in how to use it.
The professionals at your garden centre should be able to provide you with a range of different advice. You can also find a lot of practical information online. And if you are able to get someone who knows what they are doing to show you the ropes, this is even better.
To further reduce your risk of injury, wear the clothing we have already talked about above, limit distractions as much as possible, follow the instructions that are provided, make sure the equipment is working properly and keep everything out of the reach of children.
Accidents can and do happen in the garden on a daily basis so you need to be fully aware of the threats that you face and the ways in which you can reduce them.
Know Your Limits in Extreme Weather Conditions
Poor weather can seriously impact your gardening anyway, so you want to avoid wet and windy conditions whenever possible. With regards to the heat, exposure to high temperatures can cause a myriad of health issues, so you should be careful how much time you are spending out in the sun.
If you are out for a sustained period of time, you need to make sure that you drink plenty of fluids and take breaks where you move out of the sun. If you find that you are feeling dizzy or sick, you should stop working immediately. And you should also follow the protective advice that we have already talked about (wear a hat, sunscreen etc).
Be Careful with Repetitive Motions
Gardening tends to involve a whole range of repetitive motions, but you need to be careful of any skin, tendon or nerve irritation caused by activities such as digging, [amazon_textlink asin=’B0054GPN9I’ text=’trimming hedges’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mygardening411-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’3a2442fd-a87e-11e7-8561-e5164e2be0f6′], raking or pruning bushes. Try to vary your gardening tasks every 15 minutes with a brief rest in between each one of them so you are not working the same muscles over and over again. This will also help to prevent you from getting bored and losing interest in gardening as well.
Always Choose the Right Tool for the Job
First of all, you should always use a tool rather than your hands. A hand shovel or a rake is always going to be more effective for digging and there may also be sharp objects in the soil which could cause you harm. Remember that every tool has an intended purpose, so you should always stick to using each one for that particular purpose.
When you are looking at loppers or shears for example, always go for ones which feature a safety lock for added protection. When you are not using electronic or power tools, make sure that they are unplugged to prevent any hazards from occurring.
Watch Your Posture
You may not really think of your posture as being a particularly important issue, but remember that gardening involves a lot of bending down which could cause back and joint pain and other issues. Don’t forget to consider the angle of your wrist while you are using hand tools – grip strength tends to be improved when it is in a relaxed or neutral position. If you start experiencing any pain, avoid getting back into the same position and take a break.
Know What to Do in Case of Injury
Even if you are extremely careful when you are out in the garden, you may still end up suffering from an injury. If this happens, you need to know what to do. It is much better to be fully prepared for an injury before it happens rather than being left trying to work out what to do afterwards. For example, if you cut your finger or hand in a minor way, you can often deal with this by applying a clean cloth and some pressure. If the bleeding continues, this is when you may need to go to the emergency room for some professional treatment.
Take Care with Organic Chemicals
If you are planning to use organic pesticides, it is always important to remember that many of these can cause injury. When you are making, handling or applying any of these substances, you should always wear gloves and keep your hands well away from your face. Be careful with botanic sprays as these can get in any cuts that you have on your body. And after you have used any of these products, you should thoroughly wash your hands even if you have been wearing gloves.
Treat Garden Creatures with Respect
Remember that there will be a whole host of creatures which call your garden their home. It all depends on what part of the world you live in when it comes to how dangerous these animals and insects may be, but you should not try to pick up any creatures that you come across. Be careful when lifting anything up like stones as they may have poisonous insects lurking underneath.
Construct with Due Care and Attention
A lot of gardening work is not just about planting things; it is also about construction. So, when you are planning to build any structures, you should make sure that you get professional advice so you know that it is both sturdy and safe. If you are building a bath, you should ensure that it is kept both clear and level. Garden bed edges should be built in a strong way so they are not at risk of collapsing and you should clearly mark any holes or uneven ground to avoid tripping or other accidents.
These are just a few simple methods that you can follow to make gardening a safer practice all round. So to summarise; you need to ensure that you wear the correct clothing to protect yourself from the elements and the tools that you are using.
You also should ensure that you are completely comfortable that you know what you are doing before using any tools, particularly the high power and electric ones. It is always a good idea to take protective measures when you are using chemicals, and you should also be wary of the damage that repetitive motions can cause.
If you feel like you are biting off more than you can chew, it is a good idea to get help from a professional or someone who is more experienced in this field. All that’s left to say is happy and safe gardening!