Last month we wrote a post detailing five gardening jobs you can use a strimmer for and we briefly touched on the safety aspects involved in their use. At SGS Engineering however we appreciate just how important it is to always work safely no matter what piece of equipment you’re using. So we’ve put together this more in-depth post detailing how to keep yourself, those around you and your plants and animals safe when using a strimmer.
Why is Safety Important?
In the coming months the weather will become sunnier and your garden becomes a place for all the family to relax, play and revel-in. Plant-life in your garden will flourish too, bringing out idyllic flowers and lush greenery and with this a host of new residents can appear, ranging from birds and mice to frogs.
Needless to say it turns into quite a busy place, so when you are using a strimmer, aside from the protection you need to provide for yourself to avoid injury, there’s lots of others to think about too. You only have to look at this article about a hedgehog’s unfortunate encounter with a garden strimmer to realise what can happen if you’re not careful.
To find out how best to ensure all of the above are protected, consider the following points;
Wear the correct clothing – thick enough to protect you but not so thick they impede your movement. Sturdy shoes and gloves to limit vibration, defenders and goggles to stop any projectiles damaging your eyes.
Be in good shape – you should only use the strimmer if you’re physically capable of doing so, even if you’re a little under the weather you should wait until you’re fully fit.
Read your User Manual – before you begin operating your strimmer you need a full understanding of how to use it. Your manual will also cover extra safety aspects!
Fully assess the area – with the above you need to know your landscape too. Check for any potholes or hidden debris that might damage your strimmer or possibly flick up and injure you.
Adjust any harnesses – if your strimmer has a harness you wear, adjust this so the strimmer head is a few inches from the ground and that it is weighted correctly and doesn’t cause balance issues.
Be considerate of others – in urban and built-up areas be courteous to your neighbours and do your strimming at an appropriate time during the day. Daylight conditions are the best anyway!
Take regular breaks – it’s important not to overdo it, break up your tasks into manageable chunks. This is doubly important because you also get respite from the petrol fumes and the vibrations that come from using your strimmer.
Maintain good posture and balance – this will help avoid any strains or pulled muscles when working. This also helps to keep a decent level of control over your strimmer.
Stay within your limitations – a big part of safe strimming is to know your limits, don’t try to over reach or use the strimmer at points above 6-inches.
Keep your strimmer clean – after use and following enough cooling time, clean off any clippings that have stuck to your strimmer as this works to keep it in good working order.
If you are working with others, they need to wear protective clothing too. Also keep them at least 15 metres away at all times so they don’t risk being hit by any debris.
Make sure family members stay indoors – children especially should be safely inside away from the area where you are strimming.
Allow safe cooling time before letting others near the strimmer after use – again, think about children in particular here as well as any inquisitive pets.
Use the guard effectively – to protect the flowers and delicate plant life near the edges and areas you are strimming, angle your strimmer and use the guard as a barrier between where you are strimming and your plants. Be aware that this does take a steady hand and a bit of practice.
Keep pets indoors – a similar story to your family here but your pets should be safely inside or in the case of pets in outdoor hutches, these should be taken out or moved away to a safe distance.
Check your work areas – carelessness is a big contributing factor to injuries to animals in the garden, so check around for any small animals like mice, birds, hedgehogs, pond life and even neighbourhood cats before you carry out any tasks.
A final reassuring point for you is that with SGS you’ll be purchasing a product that is expertly designed and comes with the CE & GS/TUV safety mark. With this mark you get added peace of mind in knowing these are tested and safe to use. So be sure to check out our selection of strimmers on offer and then simply follow our advice to ensure you’re always strimming safely.
If you need help selecting the right strimmer for your requirements then the SGS technical team are at hand for all of your questions and concerns. With over 20 years of experience in gardening equipment, we have the expertise to perfectly match up something from our range to any application. You can use the contact form here or give us a call on 01332 576 850 for industry leading sales and advice.