Summer Gardening Projects – Working at Height Safely
Britain has been having the best summer weather we’ve had in years – people are flocking to beaches, sunbathing, swimming and generally having a great time as we make the most of this unusual sunshine. Those who aren’t lucky enough to live near the coast are doing things their own way, heading for parks, countryside and wide open space for days out in the sun. We’re also being able to enjoy our gardens to the max and the continuing fair weather has tempted many of us to start on some more hard-core gardening work and projects – making hay as the sun shines.
When it comes to the heavier gardening work, there are a number of safety issues to consider. We’re all used to thinking about health and safety in the workplace, but some of us seem to lose our minds the minute we walk into our own homes and the subject of safety never enters our minds. With so many accidents taking place in the home and garden, this is pure madness – we owe it to ourselves and to our families to pay as much attention to safety at home as we do in the workplace – it’s the responsible thing to do and, at home, we’re often acting as role models for our kids, so taking care of health and safety in the home is a great way of bringing kids up to consider safety as an important issue.
When it comes to working in the garden, there are several jobs that may require work at height. Work at height in the workplace is covered by some stringent safety legislation as it’s one of the main causes of fatalities and life changing injuries in the workplace. However, you may be surprised to learn that 6,000 people a year need emergency medical treatment after falling off ladders in the garden!
With so much at risk, making sure you carry out gardening work at height safely is essential. Pruning trees, especially the higher branches involves work at height, as does hedge-cutting, unless the hedge is really short. It’s vital that you choose the right access equipment for the work you intend to carry out and, in most cases, a ladder just doesn’t cut it. Ladders should only be used for work of short duration (less than 30 minutes) and your household step-ladder isn’t usually tall enough to reach the places you need to get to.
This is why so many keen gardeners and DIY enthusiast now choose to use a work platform for work at height. Work platforms and step units are available that can be set up to provide safe access for hedge trimming and tree pruning, and then fold away in a compact manner that requires little storage space. Obviously, making sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions is essential every time you use the equipment and the equipment should be checked regularly for any signs of damage or wear.
Taking the time and trouble to ensure that any gardening work at height you carry out over the summer months could save you a trip to the hospital and may even save your life.