With the sun shining, those of us with gardens will likely be making the most of them. Whilst getting your garden shipshape ready for friends and family, you will likely be using power tools such as lawnmowers, strimmers and hedge trimmers. Whilst gardening isn’t exactly an extreme sport, research shows that it is responsible for approximately 47,000 A&E visits each year in the UK. Around 7000 of these trips are caused by lawnmowers and another 5000 are attributed to hedge trimmers.
Here we have put together some tips to improve your electrical safety whilst gardening:
- Check your tools over! Once you’ve pulled your power tools out of the shed and blown off the cobwebs – check them over. Keep an eye out for any signs of wear or damage, paying particular attention to the cables and plugs.
- Familiarise yourself with the tools, whether it’s been a while since you’ve used it or it’s brand new to you, take a look at the instructions and make sure you know what you’re doing.
- Make sure the socket you are using is RCD protected. Plug in RCD units are available but most homes should have RCD protection at the Consumer Unit. RCD protection should be tested using the “test” button.
- Use the correct PPE, if you are going to be using a hedge trimmer, wear the appropriate gloves and goggles.
- Do your research before buying power tools, there are a lot of unregulated electrical goods available online these days. We suggest avoiding these potentially risky products, instead we recommend opting for a quality product from a reputable manufacturer.
- Choose the correct footwear, sturdy shoes or boots will offer far more protection than sandals!
- Make sure your tool is unplugged and stationary before performing any maintenance such as unblocking your lawnmower, replacing your strimmer wire or unjamming your hedge trimmer.
- Don’t cut grass when it’s wet, not only is it dangerous, the grass may be torn from the ground leaving you with a patchy lawn.
- Finally – be cautious when digging in your garden, there may be pipes or cables buried below.