How do you move your garden rubbish?

By on 10th June in Garden

At this time of the year we are all busy tidying our gardens and getting them ready to sparkle through Spring and into Summer, so that we are able to enjoy the colourful views from our windows.

However, whatever you do in the garden, it is important to always remember to be careful of the tools you use and remain safe while carrying out tasks in the garden.

 

Wheelbarrows Enduring Gardener

Image sourced from the Enduring Gardener a wheelbarrow army ready for action

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) estimates that around 300,000 people are hurt badly enough in their gardens each year, that they need to go to hospital.  87,000 of those injuries are received while carrying out gardening or DIY jobs in the garden, which we think is quite alarming.

The RoSPA’s top ten list of most dangerous garden tools (as taken from their site) are:

Accidents per year

1,000

1,500

2,000

2,500

3,000

3,500

4,000

4,500

5,000

5,500

6,000

6,500

7,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

Lawnmowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6,500

Flowerpots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,300

Secateurs/Pruners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,400

Spades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,600

Elec. Hedgetrimmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,100

Plant tubs & troughs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,800

Shears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,100

Garden forks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,000

Hoses & sprinklers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,900

Garden canes/sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,800

 

Through the reporting of accidents, it has shown that women have fewer accidents than men in the garden and that people aged between 30 and 60 are most likely to be injured. This might be linked to who is doing what in the garden – according to a poll featured in this article in the Telegraph  just over half of those that responded said “Women focused on the colours and what to plant in the garden, while the men did the heavy lifting of items, mowed the lawn and dug out the flower beds”.

It is not surprising that we see lawnmowers at the top of the accident list.  With many moving parts such as the wheels and cutting blade, if you are not concentrating it is easy to imagine running over the power cable.

Always be aware of where the cable is, try to ensure that it trails behind you when cutting the grass away from the power supply and to the side of you when it is in front of you. If you are operating electrical items in the garden, always use a RCD – residual current device.  This will cut off the power quickly in the event of an accident.

With injuries in mind, we thought about how to prevent back injuries when lifting heavy items in the garden. Don’t overload garden refuse bags; use a wheel/sack barrow to carry the rubbish from one end of the garden to the other for disposal.  It is always easier to push than it is to pull a wheelbarrow.

Most of us can easily identify with a time we have twisted around to pick something up in the garden without standing and correcting our posture before lifting.  Here are a few points that we think you should consider before hand :-

– Make sure you have suitable footwear on and are dressed appropriately.
– Do not attempt to lift anything you feel is beyond your capability.
– Prepare and plan your route, where you want to move the garden items from and to.
– Stand square in front of the item you want to lift, with your feet at a suitable distance apart, don’t stand at an angle.
– Bend your knees and go down to the item, don’t just bend over and lift from the waist.
– Keep your back as straight as you can, still allowing you to put your arms around the item to be lifted.
– Hold the item tightly and lift gently. Use the muscles in your legs to do the work and not your back. If you can feel that the item is heavier than you thought it would be and it is putting on your back muscles, don’t strain yourself by trying to lift it, get some assistance.
– Move the item to its new location and put it down following the same movements as lifting, in reverse.
– If you have to lift or move something, do it correctly.

If you are unsure how to lift correctly without hurting your back follow this guide that will show you how to lift things safely.  When moving heavy and awkward shaped items, stop and think about how you are going to lift them.  A poor lifting technique could lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering, so always make sure you take the time to lift correctly.

Keep safe in your garden this Summer!

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  • Wheelbarrows/sack barrows are not only time and energy saving, but perhaps most importantly, they are injury saving. So you can rest assured that you can continue to work, without delayed onset strain and injury.