How many dangerous garden tools can you name? Most garden tools can be potentially dangerous if they are not used correctly, or indeed if there is anything wrong with them. The garden should be a place to relax and enjoy ourselves, and many people derive a lot of pleasure from gardening. It’s also a great form of exercise. But around 87,000 people end up in hospital annually because of accidents that have occurred there, so it makes sense to stay alert and to know what the most dangerous garden tools might be.
Look through our list of items below. How many did you think of, and how many are surprising to you? Learning to identify the potential dangers is the best way to avoid being affected by them, and possibly putting yourself in danger of suffering one or more nasty injuries. Gardening should be fun – not something that ends up with you seeking hospital treatment when it goes wrong.
- Garden strimmer
With around 50 deaths occurring in the garden each year, and thousands more accidents, as we’ve seen, it is vital to treat all garden implements with proper care. A garden strimmer can be dangerous in several ways. Firstly, many models require an electricity supply. This means accidentally cutting through the cable could be deadly.Putting the cable over your shoulder so it stays behind you reduces the risk of this happening. A residual current device is another good way to practise good garden safety, and to reduce the dangers associated with dangerous garden tools.
- Heavy planters and containers
These planters look innocent enough on their own, and very pleasant indeed when planted up with tumbling flowers or beautiful blooms. Yet they can also be very heavy, and you could potentially suffer a nasty back injury if you try to lift or move them on your own.Typically, it is better to empty them, use a trolley or similar wheeled item, or to get help to move them, if you are going to position them elsewhere. The same applies to any garden item that is going to be heavy to move from one place to another. Soft tissue injuries and other injuries to joints and back muscles can all potentially occur in situations like these. They can also be easily avoided by assessing the load and how best to move it prior to doing anything at all.
- Lawn mowers
Anything that requires an electricity supply poses a danger. Even if your lawn mower is a petrol mower, and thus does not need an electricity supply to run, it could still cause an accident if you do not pay close attention to safety. It is arguably one of the more dangerous garden tools because it poses several dangers.Installing an RCD – residual current device – as mentioned above is a great idea. It means if you run over the cable, you will still be safe as the power will automatically cut out. Another potential hazard involves the blades and other working parts in the mower. If you need to clean it or perform any maintenance or repair tasks, always disconnect it from the mains first. It is very easy to accidentally set the mower going while you are working on it. If this should happen, you could end up with nasty cuts to your hands, even with plastic blades. You may even suffer a partial or total loss of one or more fingers.
- Pruners and sharp garden implements
Pruning shears and similar items must be sharp to cut through thick rose stems and other plant stems that cannot be easily cut any other way. However, the sharp blades mean there is always a risk of being cut – and a cut can be very serious, not just because of loss of blood.Tetanus also has the potential to occur, so if you have cut yourself in the garden and you haven’t got an up-to-date vaccination for tetanus, see your GP as soon as you can. While tetanus is rare, it does have the potential to occur in these situations.
- Garden hoses
We left this until last on our list, because it would seem to be one of the most innocent of items to be found in the garden. However, if it is not put away correctly, it must surely be one of the biggest potential trip hazards in the average garden. Dangerous garden tools come in all shapes and sizes, and they do not have to have blades to cause damage, as we can see here. An article on gardening by the BBC revealed getting rid of trip hazards was a key way to reduce the chances of having an accident – and that includes dealing with garden hoses.
Staying safe in the garden
If you don’t take enough care while gardening, any normal garden tools can potentially turn into dangerous garden tools. Amateur Gardening provides some good advice on preventing gardening injuries, thereby reducing the odds of you becoming one of the above statistics.
Of course, there are times when even the best precautions don’t have the desired effect. For example, you could end up being seriously injured and it may not be your fault. Did you operate your lawn mower according to instructions and you received an electric shock from it, for example? Did a piece fly off and injure you, even though you had checked it thoroughly before you began using it? Were you injured by a new piece of equipment that ended up being unfit for purpose?
Were you hurt by dangerous garden tools?
If so, or even if you think there could be a chance negligence on the part of someone else was involved, it is a good idea to seek some professional legal advice. Dangerous garden tools can cause some nasty injuries, and if negligence was to blame, you could make a no-win, no-fee* claim. To find out more, call Accident Advice Helpline on one of these two numbers – 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from any mobile phone.