Garden Safety – Garden Tools and Gardening Safety
The old saying, ‘a craftsman is only as good as his tools’, applies as much to gardening as to any other activity. Having the right tools for the job, keeping them in good condition and using them correctly can mean the difference between a quick, easily accomplished task and an arduous one, inefficiently done. Top quality, stainless steel tools, well cared for, can last for years, if not a lifetime, and buying the best tools you can afford is more satisfying and economical, in the long run than buying a series of cheap but short-lived ones.
Before buying tools, check that the handles are comfortable, and that large tools suit your size and strength; so-called ‘lady’s spades’, for example, hold smaller, lighter loads. Clean tools after every use, oil metal parts occasionally, especially before winter storage, and keep tools somewhere clean, dry and secure.
Common sense dictates that sharp tools and all power tools should be used with care. Thoughtless acts, such as filling a petrol mower with the engine running or cobbling together electrical extension leads, can cause accidents.
Keep tools and equipment out of reach of children, and garden chemicals, especially herbicides and pesticides, away from both children and pets. Remember that young children can climb on one object to reach another. Make sure chemicals are clearly labelled and in their original containers, never in lemonade or other bottles. Safety with chemicals extends beyond the garden, too. Never flush unwanted chemicals down the drain, but take them to the council depot instead.