BOB FLOWERDEW

Gar­den­ing risks are not worth tak­ing!

Amateur Gardening - - Contents -

NOW as I’m sure you may have gath­ered I’m hardly ec­static about some as­pects of the cur­rent ob­ses­sion with Health & Safety. I’m more of the “If I choose to take the risk it’s up to me” school of thought.

How­ever, hav­ing ac­tive chil­dren has made me re­assess my gar­den some­what – and per­haps we all should do like­wise. No one wants an ac­ci­dent, af­ter all. So what are the big­gest gar­den­ing risks to life? Sur­pris­ingly it’s not eat­ing poi­sonous plants or berries, or even mush­rooms. In­deed ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial records for the UK there have been no ac­ci­den­tal deaths (more than a cou­ple of sus­pi­cious ones though) at­trib­uted to those since the Sec­ond World War, and not many more if any since the First World War.

Sadly deaths can and do oc­cur from chil­dren drink­ing gar­den and house­hold prod­ucts, es­pe­cially when these are most in­ad­vis­ably in wrong con­tain­ers as well as be­ing fool­ishly ac­ces­si­ble.

Now I’m not say­ing we shouldn’t be care­ful and warn our chil­dren of the dan­gers of eat­ing or drink­ing things we have not ex­pressly given them. No, but what we need to guard against is our stu­pid­ity of leav­ing po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous things in too eas­ily find­able places. Even though I’m an or­ganic gar­dener but I still have petrol, oils, paints, thin­ners, tur­pen­tine and methy­lated spir­its, and in the house bleaches, clean­ers and de­ter­gents in pro­fu­sion (my wife runs a clean ship). Sta­tis­ti­cally these re­ally were much more of a threat.

Oddly, steplad­ders are the other risky threat – a huge num­ber of ac­ci­dents in­volve these, with lad­ders and boxes bal­anced on top of pal­lets etcetera.

Then there is elec­tric­ity, an­other dan­ger­ous thing that cu­ri­ous fin­gers can get harmed by. I’ve had a fast act­ing cir­cuit breaker fit­ted for the out­side sock­ets… which just might save me as well as the kids.

“What are the big­gest risks?”

Steplad­ders ac­count for a high pro­por­tion of gar­den-re­lated ac­ci­dents Haz­ardous prod­ucts are fre­quently to be found in a gar­den shed

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