Garden Action

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Safety with Tools

Little is left to chance in work situations when it comes to safety. We are invariably drilled to tedium when introduced to a new tool or machine. Workplaces avoid the remotest possibility of an accident, but when it comes to accident statistics, the home is one of the most dangerous places.  At home, we relax and feel most comfortable with what we do. Gardeners feel most comfortable when enjoying the garden. 

Look around any garden or allotment, the risk of an accident is always present.  Any safety advisor would have a field day.  There are plenty of warnings with powered tools and chemicals, hand tools are often overlooked. A few simple precautions will make the garden a safer place.
Carry tools tucked under your arm with the pointed, metal ends downward and the remainder of the handle behind you.  This way, the tines or blade will be at your front and always in view.  Be aware of the handle behind you when you turn.  Should you trip or fall, let go, the sharp end will reach the ground before you do.
In the garden, when not in use, drive digging tools into the ground and lay rakes and hoes down alongside the path to avoid tripping.  Remember to turn the teeth of the rake and the hoe blades to the ground.  Clean your tools after use. Clean tools last longer and are more pleasant to take up for work the next time.  When stored, tools are best hung up, they won’t fall over and the floor is left clear for sweeping.  Tool hooks can be found at the hardware store.  Hang forks and spades by their handles, hoes and rakes by their metal ends. Coil hoses and wind up string lines.
Make sure your tetanus injections are up to date.  Treat minor cuts and wounds with clean water and seek medical advice for more serious injuries. An awareness of safety when gardening can prevent accidents from happening and will allow your continuation of pleasure.