Introduction to this document

Safe use of garden equipment

Failure to observe the correct operating procedures when using garden equipment may lead to accidents resulting in serious personal injuries.

Managing the risks

To help you to identify the hazards associated with the operation of garden equipment and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Safe Use of Garden Equipment. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level. You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow are decided upon the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”.

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards in your workplace when using garden equipment.

Note. This risk assessment deals with the generic risks associated with basic garden equipment, including hand-operated lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and strimmers. It does not refer to other types of mower or tractor, or specialised equipment such as chainsaws, rotavators etc. Such equipment should be the subject of a separate risk assessment.