Top Gardening Safety Tips
3rd February 2017
If you think we’re all about selling garden machinery, look again! You might have noticed by now that we are passionate about our products, but we also know a thing or two about gardening. This weeks blog will give you all the information you need to make sure you operate your garden machinery with the optimum of safety.
This information is compiled in conjunction with our top brands wise words of advice and our own wealth of experience in handling garden machinery. All types of outdoor work come with their own unique problems and issues of safety. But if you adhere to the manufacturer’s advice on how to use their machines in safety and take their advice on safety equipment and clothes you should be able to stay safe while you work.
So read on for our top safety tips!
Hedge trimming top safety tips
The number one rule in using any garden machinery whether it is petrol, electric or petrol powered is always read the manufacturer’s advice booklet that comes with your machine. The manufacturers know their products better than anyone so you know you can trust in the manual!
Here at Just Lawnmowers we believe that you should never attempt to start work if you have children and pets in the vicinity. We all love the idea of free range children and animals but for their safety and yours they should be somewhere else while you fire up that hedge trimmer. Safety equipment is a must. Goggles, gloves, hard hat, ear protectors are all necessary pieces of safety gear that should be used. If you’re working low down, our advice would be to wear hefty boots, with steel toe caps if possible. In wet weather don’t attempt to use an electrical powered hedgetrimmer, save it for another day!
Unless you’re Conan the Barbarian we recommend using both hands on the hedgetrimmer at all times please. If you find your hedge trimmer requires you to remove any stuck foliage take the time to make sure it has completely stopped and is turned off, and the blades have stopped before trying to remove any debris. Don’t overreach while you are working, this puts you at serious risk of overbalancing.
Lawnmower top safety tips
We could write a book on “not running over the electric cable”, it fact a shudder runs down my spine at the very thought of it. Not that I am squeamish or anything, but if you think you may be at risk of doing this by mistake for goodness sake invest in a petrol or battery operated lawnmower!
Lots of safety tips can be applied to all types of garden machinery as mentioned above, read the instruction manual before you start, wear protective clothing, especially hefty boots and eye protection in this case. Don’t attempt to remove any debris unless you have turned the thing off and the blades have stopped moving.
On a warm summer’s day you may well have competition for your gardening space from children and pets but it’s always best to keep them well out of the way, it’s just too tempting for them not to creep up behind you and tap you on the shoulder leading to you mowing over your foot or theirs. Ouch!
Back to the electric cable, you should make sure it is plugged into an RCD (Residual Current Devices) socket. An RCD is a potentially life-saving device that protects against electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. Without it, if you cut through an electrical lead, a simple job like mowing the lawn could kill you. Any socket that may be used to plug in a lawnmower, hedge trimmer or other power tool should have RCD Protection. If this doesn’t send you running for the hills in search of a petrol lawnmower or a battery operated one, then perhaps when you find out you can only mow the lawn when the grass is completely dry you might just take off like a whippet. However if you have a small lawn and you know you are a careful person and you have an RCD then chances are you will be able to successfully mow your lawn with an electric lawnmower with no trouble at all.
Chainsaw top safety tips
Chainsawing is really not for the faint hearted. Nor is it for those of you who are complacent about safety. With the right information and the right attitude however, you can easily use this type of equipment with no problems whatsoever. Alway read the manufacturer’s instructions and wear the recommended safety gear. If you are reading this guide as a chainsawing novice or perhaps you are yet to buy yourself a chainsaw then the following information on what kinds of safety features you should look for on a chainsaw will probably go a long way in helping you make that decision.
Chainsawing is not a group activity – therefore keep your kids, elderly relatives and pets well away.
Some older models of chainsaws will not have all the safety features that the top brands offer today. Chainsaw kickback (the sudden, violent force that can push the saw backward, toward the operator, usually caused by mishandling the tip of the saw, or bumping the tip against an unseen piece of wood) can be a big problem when using a chainsaw, so look to either avoid it (chain and bar design), or to reduce the risk of injury should it occur (chain brakes). You will also want to look for something that has been designed to reduce the hand vibration problem so always look for a machine that states it features reduced vibrations.
When it comes to safety clothing always refer to the safety manual that comes with your machine, but there are plenty of options available and you may be advised to wear special chainsawing trousers and coat, gloves, hat, ear defenders, goggles and safety boots. Having a first aid kit to hand can be very useful. And having no distractions is a must.
Log Splitter top safety tips
Like all garden machinery when you are using a log splitter you need to make sure you are alert and concentrating. We don’t want to state the obvious but if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs (whether prescribed or otherwise) the best place for you may be a dark room, and leave the gardening for another time! Likewise if you are ill or find your self to be not in full working order then please step away from the potentially dangerous log splitter!
However if you are in full health and feeling alert then read on for some potentially accident saving safety tips. Firstly keep those inquisitive little children and pets away.
This is a great time to pop the little darlings in front of a disney movie and not feel a moment’s guilt! And do read that safety manual before starting. Adhere to it, if it tells you to wear goggles and gloves make sure you do.
Now, we may be stating the obvious but find a good flat place for your log splitter in a safe place. For example don’t put it at the bottom of Millicent’s slide! And for goodness sake don’t position it at the top of those garden steps. A nice flat area away from humans and animals where you can split logs to your heart’s content, or at least until the job is finished. If you find your log splitter has a two handed operation this is a good thing it means you won’t have a spare hand to get jammed in the splitter while is it working. Good idea hey?! Your log splitter will need a quick check between each use to make sure it has all its nuts and bolts in place.
Leaf blowers, snow blowers and garden vacuums top safety tips
You might be forgiven for thinking these pieces of garden machinery blow air, what could possibly go wrong? And the answer to this is, not a lot actually! That is, if you follow the safety guides and wear the right protective clothing. Hand and eye protection is the order of the day. You certainly need eye protection with all that debris flying around. Hand protection will go some way to protecting you from the vibrations of these machines.
Just Lawnmowers top tip: Look for machinery that offers reduced vibrations. Easier to work with and more comfortable, especially if you are working for a considerable amount of time. Consider hefty footwear, steel toe caps are always recommended for outdoor work, and imagine if you dropped your machine on your foot – the steel toe would protect you from a broken toe. Also they are good value and hard wearing.
Ear protection is probably a good idea, especially if you have a two stroke petrol engine. Remember that the older models will most likely be louder and heavier. So if you are struggling to use your older machine it might be wise to invest in a new one. The top brands of today have designed their machines to be lighter, quieter and easier to use.
Cultivator, Tiller And Rotavator top safety tips
Here at Just Lawnmowers we believe the safest way to use these essential pieces of garden equipment is to read the safety information that comes with each machine, and to invest in some top quality safety gear. Safety gear is an important part of any gardeners arsenal and should be selected from a well known company, and stored inside your house rather than your shed to optimise its life expectancy. It should last for years, if stored and cleaned wisely.
When working near the ground it is essential that you wear hefty outdoor boots, only a fool would set to work in a pair of sandals or trainers. Ear defenders may be necessary, just make sure everyone in the vicinity knows you won’t be answering their calls for a while. Good hand protection is vital to reduce the feel of vibrations and to give your hands a bit of comfort as you work. Keep children and pets well away, this is not the time for hide and seek – you don’t want any surprises while you are working, or a small child lurking in the undergrowth that you are about to cut into.
Hopefully you will have gleaned as much information as you need to get started, but please note this is not a definitive guide. You always need to read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before you use your machine, and because we are such sticklers for safety here at Just Lawnmowers we would always recommend you refresh yourself with those guides at the start of each new season.
Happy gardening and stay safe – from the team here at Just Lawnmowers.