Stay Safe, Green Fingers!

Working in the garden is a healthy pastime for people of all ages and abilities. But there is a downside to gardening. People, enthusiastic gardeners, often take a fall, cut themselves, drop something on their feet or hurt their backs. Domestic accidents do occur in the garden, grounds or boundaries of people’s homes. So, if you’re planning to spend time working outdoors, it’s important to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to help you do so:

  • Gardening involves a wide range of movements like bending, stretching, squatting and walking. Sometimes it’s all too easy to get carried away trying to get a project completed and overdo things, especially if you are a mature gardener who is less used to physical exercise. Accept your limitations and aim to complete projects over a period of time.
  • There’s always a danger of sunburn and dehydration, especially for the seniors. Even if it doesn’t seem that warm or bright, UV rays can still cause sunburn and skin damage. It’s also easy to become dehydrated when the weather is warm and you lose more water than usual in the form of sweat. Use sun cream (at least SPF16) and wear a wide-brimmed hat plus sunglasses. Work in the shade or take a break between 12.00 and 2.00pm. Have a supply of cool water with you at all times.
  • Many back injuries are caused by lifting heavy items but a surprising number are also
    due to lifting something awkwardly or incorrectly. And there’s also the danger of dropping a heavy or sharp item, which could cause a nasty bruise at best. Ask for help to lift heavy and awkward items. When doing any type of lifting, bend from your knees, not from your back.
  • It almost goes without saying that power tools of any type are hazardous and pose a number of dangers, including electric shock, physical injury, and falls. Always read the instructions for use carefully. Use a circuit breaker and always wear appropriate safety gear.
  • Try to avoid things going wrong by planning your time in the garden in advance and enlisting some help for the times when there are especially hard or difficult tasks to be done. And remember to fence off areas of open water, which pose a particular hazard to young children.

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