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How to safely operate a strimmer


Strimmers and brush cutters are an extremely useful tool in the garden, and for maintaining public areas. Their use, however, can be dangerous and it’s important to take adequate precautions to protect yourself from an accident at work if using a strimmer or a brush cutter. Here, Accident Advice Helpline takes a closer look at some of the most important safety aspects to observe when using a strimmer or brush cutter.


Protective clothing

Perhaps the most important piece of advice to avoid a work injury when using a strimmer or brush cutter is to wear adequate protective clothing. There are a number of essential items you should wear when operating a strimmer or brush cutter. Perhaps the most important piece of protective clothing to wear is eye-goggles, or a full-face visor where available. Adequate eye protection will help protect against any loose grass cuttings or debris and avoid a serious eye injury.

Strimmers and brush cutters also produce a considerable amount of noise. It is important to also wear ear protectors to prevent any long-term hearing damage from developing.

Gloves can also be quite useful when operating a strimmer or brush cutter as they help to provide a better grip on the machine.

When operating a strimmer or brush cutter, protective footwear is essential. You should always wear closed-toe shoes or steel-toe boots where available. The blades of a strimmer or brush cutter can be extremely sharp and wearing proper protective footwear will help protect against any nasty injuries to your feet or toes.


Petrol or electric?

If you are using an electric strimmer, always ensure that you have enough power cable to reach the area you want to work on. Also be careful not to have too much cord, as this creates a hazard of potentially running the strimmer over the top of it and a subsequent electrical hazard.

If using a petrol strimmer or brush cutter it’s important to make sure that you have enough petrol in the tank before beginning any strimming work. Always be wary of the heat produced by a petrol strimmer due to the combustion process, as this can create a serious burning hazard.

When using a petrol strimmer or brush cutter, make sure that you use a harness and ensure that it is correctly adjusted before setting out to use the strimmer.