Ground maintenance plays an important role in upkeeping the appearance of golf courses, gardens, sports fields, and other outdoor spaces. But performing outdoor maintenance can be dangerous if appropriate health and safety measures are not followed.
Workers in ground care maintenance operate complicated machinery, handle chemicals, and perform physically demanding maintenance tasks, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Thankfully, by undergoing adequate training and using high-quality equipment, anyone carrying out ground maintenance tasks can do so safely and effectively. This blog will explore the importance of health and safety in the ground maintenance industry and the best practices to follow.
So whether you’re a professional gardener, estate manager, greenskeeper, landscaper, contractor or simply looking to make the most of your home’s expansive garden, this guide covers everything you need to know about carrying out ground maintenance responsibly.
Best practices for safe ground maintenance
1. Undergo proper training
Maintenance operations typically involve some type of heavy machinery. When carrying out maintenance work involving complicated machinery, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of its proper usage to ensure safety.
This involves obtaining the necessary training on safe operation techniques. Reliable ground maintenance machinery companies understand the importance of proper training and often provide their customers ample training and support for their products.
2. Choose a reputable company
Using high-quality machinery from a trusted company is essential for safe grounds care. When you choose a company with a good reputation, you can rest assured that the machinery you’re accessing is safe, effective, and won’t break down and cause problems for you, your maintenance workers, or members of the public.
Premium machinery usually comes with extra safety features, lowering the risk of accidents or injury.
All in all, high-quality machinery can help get the job done faster and better while saving you time and money in the long run.
3. Be cautious of chemicals
There are many risks involved with groundskeeping, including direct contact with chemicals. Ground maintenance chemicals can be hazardous if not handled carefully.
Chemicals such as herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are often used in the ground maintenance industry to control pests, weeds, and diseases. But these chemicals can also harm the health and safety of wildlife, the environment, and the individual handling them.
This is why taking precautions when using these chemicals is essential. And don’t forget about personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and respirators.
4. Don't lend or borrow machinery
Lending or borrowing outdoor machinery can be risky and is not recommended. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Liability: Lending or borrowing machinery can create liability issues if the equipment is damaged or causes injury to someone. The machinery owner may be held responsible for any damages.
- Maintenance: Regular machinery maintenance is essential to ensure it operates correctly and safely. Lending or borrowing machinery can make keeping track of maintenance schedules challenging, leading to the equipment being used in unsafe conditions.
- Compatibility: Different types of machinery have different specifications and capabilities. Lending or borrowing equipment incompatible with the task at hand can be hazardous and may cause damage to the machinery or surrounding environment.
- Insurance: Insurance policies may not cover damage or accidents while the machinery is borrowed or lent out. This can lead to disputes and financial losses for the lender and the borrower.
5. Understand your duties as an employer
No matter how small or big your company is, you’re legally responsible for ensuring your employees and anyone affected by your work stays safe and healthy.
Even if you’re a one-person show like a personal gardener, you still need to protect yourself, your clients, and anyone else who might be around while you work.
If you’ve got a company with five or more employees, you’ve got even more legal obligations to meet to keep everyone safe. This includes figuring out the risks, giving your workers the proper training and supervision, and having plans if something goes wrong.
6. Get public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is vital in the ground maintenance industry because it involves work carried out in public spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, and gardens, which are accessible to members of the public.
As a result, there is a greater risk of accidents or injuries, which could result in claims against the person or company carrying out the maintenance activities.
7. Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards
Safety should be your top priority when operating heavy machineries like lawnmowers, tractors, and other landscaping tools.
Being aware of your surroundings is critical to keep yourself and others safe. Pay attention to everything nearby, such as people, vehicles, and objects in your vicinity. You should also watch out for any potential hazards, such as rocks, debris, or uneven terrain, which could pose a risk to you or others.
8. Don't overburden yourself
When operating outdoor machinery, it’s crucial not to push yourself or your workers beyond your limits by taking on too much work. Overworking can cause physical and mental fatigue, making you prone to accidents and mistakes. Setting a realistic work schedule that considers your physical capabilities and workload is vital to avoid overburdening yourself.
This may involve taking frequent breaks, stretching your muscles, and drinking enough water throughout the day to avoid exhaustion and dehydration. Overall, prioritising health and safety in the ground maintenance industry are crucial in preventing maintenance-related accidents.
These are just a few examples of the health and safety procedures that should be in place in the ground care machinery industry. It’s important to consult with local health and safety regulations to ensure all necessary procedures are in place.
Choose machinery experts you can trust!
Looking for top-of-the-line ground maintenance machinery that meets health and safety standards? Look no further than Middlewich Machinery.
Our extensive range includes premium landscaping machinery, golf course maintenance tools, and ground care equipment designed to deliver optimal results. Operating throughout Cheshire, you can trust us to provide only the best of the best in ground maintenance solutions.