GAR­DEN SAFE

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

En­joy­ment and well-earned aching mus­cles are part of a gar­den. The oc­ca­sional blis­ter pays tes­ta­ment to a job well done, or the fact that you haven’t done a lot of the “hard stuff” for a while. But at the end of the day it’s all worth the ef­fort.

This is of course un­til your am­bi­tion out­strips your ca­pa­bil­i­ties, like tak­ing a quick trip up the lad­der to sort out an ag­gra­vat­ing palm or bush. Or think­ing you feel com­fort­able with a prun­ing saw and lean­ing just that lit­tle too far out.

Gar­den crashes and smashes hap­pen more that we think. Some are solved with a rub and a cuppa. Oth­ers are near misses or, worse still, dis­as­ters.

They do say that “lad­ders and mostly men over 60 don’t mix”. A gung-ho at­ti­tude and an am­bi­tious lad­der climb can be the end of you.

Think about the tradies who work in gar­dens and need a ticket or a cer­tifi­cate to op­er­ate dif­fer­ent pieces of equip­ment.

But the home gar­dener can buy a chain­saw and take to a tree that might just dam­age prop­erty or kill some­one. It’s all done with­out any knowl­edge of how a chain­saw is one of the most dan­ger­ous pieces of gar­den equip­ment.

Trips, gar­den falls and gar­den crashes are com­mon, but you don’t want to be one of those sta­tis­tics that of­ten put an end to any fur­ther gar­den ad­ven­tures.

Sim­ple gar­den safety can take the form of know­ing how to lift with your knees, use long­han­dled shov­els or con­sider some ladies-size tools for the best er­gonomic re­sults of a job well done.

Keep­ing chem­i­cals in a safe place and know­ing how long to keep them is es­sen­tial. It is like emp­ty­ing the bath­room pill cup­board ev­ery now and then and get­ting rid of the chem­i­cals that are past their use-by date. Mix­ing gar­den chem­i­cals is a bit like the com­pat­i­bil­ity of the pills you take. Some sim­ply don’t mix. In the ig­no­rance of adding this to that you may be mak­ing a di­a­bol­i­cal cock­tail that does some­thing other than what you in­tended.

Apart from any­thing else, the ef­fects on our health are be­com­ing bet­ter un­der­stood. It’s been known for chem­i­cals to be ab­sorbed through the skin of the fore­head, hands, feet and gen­i­tals. A bot­tle that leaks is a prob­lem. Maybe even the fumes in a con­fined space can be harm­ful.

Don’t feel too com­fort­able with the new gen­er­a­tion of chem­i­cals, ei­ther. They too have their is­sues even though they are pre­sented as be­ing more user friendly.

Just take care of your­self. Get some­one in who does it pro­fes­sion­ally and you can sit back and en­joy the re­sults.

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