Garden safety checks when working at height
Even the most experienced gardeners and DIY enthusiasts can be at risk of accident at home if they don't perform safety checks before carrying out their work.
When working at height in the garden, it is important to ensure that you take precautions for your own safety. If you have previously completed work such as cutting hedges and trees in your garden, it is easy to assume that you will not have an accident or sustain any injuries. However, even the most experienced gardeners and DIY enthusiasts can endanger their well-being if they do not perform safety checks before carrying out their work.
What kinds of situations involve working at a height in the garden?
The most obvious scenario is the cutting of hedges, trees or large plants. However, working at a height in the garden can also include performing DIY or maintenance work on sheds, garages, conservatories or simply fixtures attached to the house itself. As well as maintaining your home or garden, working at a height can also involve fitting items such as hanging baskets, lights or decorative features.
What safety checks should you perform if you are working at a height in the garden?
If you are using any kind of electrical equipment, such as a hedge cutter, electric drill or other power tools, it is important to use a Residual Current Device (RCD). An RCD is an electrical item that is designed to be particularly sensitive to faults. If any kind of fault is detected, such as a surge in power, or the exposure of live wires, the RCD will automatically cut off the supply of electricity. This can save your life in the event of an error.
If you are unsure as to whether or not the equipment you are using is an RCD, it is important to seek professional advice. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, as it can literally be the difference between life and death.
Using a ladder
Accidents and injuries involving ladders are particularly common.
If you are working at a height, it is likely that you will be using a ladder. You should inspect the ladder before you begin, to ensure that it is in good condition. In addition, you should consider carefully the angle at which the ladder needs to be positioned, in order to protect your safety. Using a ladder that is defective, or which is placed at an awkward or precarious angle, can result in a fall.
Depending on the height of your ladder, a fall can cause minor injuries such as bruising or sprains, or more serious problems such as broken bones or muscular damage.
You should ensure that you are well versed in what you are doing before completing any garden task, particularly one at height. It is also important that you are wearing appropriate protective clothing, footwear and eye wear. In addition, you should be confident that you are physically competent enough to perform the task in a safe manner that does not endanger your safety, or the safety of others in the vicinity.
If there are children nearby, you should ensure that they are occupied at a reasonable distance from where you are working. This will protect both their safety and your own.
How can Quittance help?
If you have suffered an accident or injury on a ladder then it may be possible to seek financial compensation. Call us on 0800 612 7456 for a free initial consultation.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.