Here in the UK we love nothing more than getting outside in our gardens. Whether it’s to actually do some gardening, read a book or just have lunch on a sunny day, our gardens are the perfect place to relax and unwind, at one with nature. You may not realise it, but there are hazards lurking in the average garden that could lead to serious injuries, if you’re not careful. Most of us don’t stop to think about these things when we’re enjoying the sunshine. But did you know that most accidents in the garden are caused by electrical equipment like the lawn mower, hedge trimmer and pruner?
That’s not to say that garden gnomes and flower pots aren’t responsible for their fair share of injuries that can happen in the garden too. If you’ve been injured and you think that somebody else might be to blame, you could make a personal injury claim within three years of your accident.
What are the most common injuries that can happen in the garden?
Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we want you to stay safe in the garden, so we have gathered together a list of the five most common injuries that can happen in the garden, as well as some tips on harden safety. Remember that if you think you may have a personal injury claim, you can call us at any time for confidential, no-obligation advice.
- Trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are amongst the most common accidents to happen in the garden, and the very old and very young are the most vulnerable. Winter is, understandably, a more common type for accidents to happen as the ground can be wet and icy. But hose pipes, branches, loose paving slabs and overgrown areas of garden can all pose trip and fall hazards, so keeping your garden tidy and organised is one way to reduce the number of hazards and minimise the risk of accidents happening. Slip, trip and fall injuries could range from minor injuries like cuts and bruises to serious injuries like a broken ankle. Although a fractured ankle may not sound serious, an injury like this in somebody elderly could take time to heal, as the older we get, the more brittle our bones are. This could also be a more serious injury for very young children, whose bones are still growing and developing.
Number two on our list of injuries that can happen in the garden is drowning, or near-drowning. Ponds, paddling pools and even water features can be a risk to young children, who should always be supervised, whether you’re in your own garden at home or visiting somebody else. Young children can drown in just a few centimetres of water, so cover ponds with a fence or grille and empty paddling pools after use. Statistics from RoSPA show that between 1995 and 2005, there were 147 drowning deaths in residential locations, 39% of these occurred in garden ponds.
- Garden equipment
Of all the injuries that can happen in the garden, accidents involving garden equipment and machinery are amongst the most common. In fact, lawnmowers cause the most injuries, with 6,500 lawnmower accidents reported annually. Hedge trimmer accidents are on the rise too – but perhaps surprisingly, flower pots are responsible for 5,300 accidents a year, presumably leading to injuries when they fell onto people. Lawnmower injuries are most common when you’re cleaning the blades of your lawnmower, or if you accidentally run over your foot, which is why it is important to know what you’re doing before firing up the mower. You should always make sure that it is unplugged from the mains before cleaning the blades and use a plug-in RCD to reduce the risk of electric shock when using garden electrical equipment.
It makes sense that lacerations are common injuries that can happen in the garden – after all, many gardening tools have sharp edges, like scythes, hedge trimmers and shovels. If you have suffered lacerations after an accident in the garden, it’s important to clean and dress the wound to reduce the risk of infection. A deep laceration may need stitches, and you may need antibiotics to minimise the risk of infection, so it is worth seeking medical advice after your accident. Lacerations are amongst the most common injuries to happen whilst gardening, and you could be eligible to claim compensation if your injuries were caused by somebody else’s negligence. Perhaps a faulty garden tool caused serious lacerations, or maybe you suffered cuts to your legs and arms after slipping on an icy path at a public garden or park. If this has happened to you, Accident Advice Helpline could help you make a no win no fee claim for personal injury compensation.
- Lifting injuries
The final injury on our list relates to lifting – you would be surprised how common manual handling injuries can be when it comes to gardening. Lifting heavy bags of concrete or compost, carrying heavy stacks of bricks or even heavy plants without using a wheelbarrow – these can all lead to manual handling injuries. Musculoskeletal disorders can be a result of a manual handling accident, leading to pain in your back, neck, legs or arms. Back injuries can be debilitating, and you may need to take time off work to recover if you have injured your back – pain can also radiate from your back into your legs, shoulders, neck and arms, making it difficult to get anything done without experiencing pain.
Claiming compensation for a garden accident
If you have suffered from any of the above injuries that can happen in the garden, or any other type of injury that’s not mentioned here, all hope isn’t lost. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience helping people claim compensation for a wide range of injuries, and we could help you to get the compensation you are entitled to after your gardening accident. If you’d like to get an idea of how much compensation you could receive, why not take the 30-second test™ on our website right now? Or call us on 0800 689 5659 and we’ll be able to tell you if you have a viable claim.
With no upfront fees to worry about, anybody can afford to make a claim with us, so whether you are a retired teacher who has broken their ankle after tripping in the garden or a busy working mum who is making a claim on behalf of their injured child, you can call us today.