Protect yo’ self, before you wreck yo’ self.

22 Mar

Noise, vibrations, debris flying around at insane speeds, very sharp slicey things, itchy burny irritant stuff. There’s a lot of things gardeners need to be weary of, so rather nicely people made and invented stuff to keep our hands and faces protected from the dangerous things.

 

PPE has a whole set of legislation around it, that’s how seriously it’s taken. I’m gonna go over the basics for gardening in general, things you’d need for almost every job , every day. So here’s a longer guide from the big brains at the Government if you to have a nosey, http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/ppe.htm. When you’re out in the field you can understand why it’s needed. I’ve been strimming and had stones flung into my shin, I don’t want to imagine what that would be like if that stone was on a collision course with my face.

 

So that’s why, with strimming, it’s important you wear eye protection. We have several pairs stored away ready to be used, and the scratches on them show me that they’ve done their job. Ear defenders are definatly needed too as those engines kick out a lot of noise and, depending on what and how you’re strimming, that engine can come quite close to your head. If you want to be ultra protected, you can wear a chain saw visor. They have everything built into one, ear muffs, hard hat and a visor. Although, some are a mesh, handy for the bits of wood a chain saw sprays around as they don’t really stick, but grass and flower shreddings easily get stuck, which makes it rather difficult to see.

 

Speaking of ear muffs, if you’ve ever used any gardening machinery, or even just listened to it while others are using it, you know it’s loud.  Just to throw some numbers at you, its 108 decibels for a backpack blower, 100dB for a hedgecutter and 96dB for one of our mowers.  To put things in perspective, a vacuum cleaner measures at 70dB, normal city traffic is 80dB and a jet flying over at a mere 100ft is a lowly 103dB. It’s LOUD. Even a cheap pair off Amazon reduces noise levels by 27dB, nearly a third, which is a lot better for our hearing.

 

Click here for a nice lil’ chart, if you’re wondering how much noise other stuff can kick out in relation to the tools gardeners use. 

 

Gloves are probably the handiest (Ha, get it?) bit of PPE you can have as a gardener. All the machines we used make a lot of vibrations, vibrations can lead to circulation in your hands and fingers to get funny. So they help protect against that as gloves adsorb a lot of the energy, instead of it going straight into your skin. If you use a hand tool, like a hoe or spade, using gloves will reduce how much of your skin rubs against the handle of the tool, reducing the possibility of getting blisters, or a cut, or a splinters from wooden handles. Gloves are also very useful when using chemicals, or anything else that can irritate skin. Pulling out Stinging Nettles, the sap from Euphorbia, a spec of Jeyes. All can be very irritating if they get into contact with skin, so having an adequate layer of protection is needed.

 

To end this off, 2 obvious pieces of PPE that shouldn’t need an explanation. Steele toe capped boots are, well, if you turn up without them, you won’t be working today, or you’ll be doing very limited things, absolutely no power tools at all. Simple as really.  Then a full boiler suit for using chemicals, along with a mask. Those chemicals aren’t just harmful for the tiny bugs/diseases, they can be quite the inconvenience to us humans too. The suit and the mask will protect your skin and lungs from irritants.

 

Safety first, peeps!

 

 

Written by Stu.

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