Introduction to injury claims for Gardeners

About Gardeners and Groundsmen injured at work

Working as a gardener or groundsman can bring a person into contact with many different hazards throughout their working day. It is important that thorough health and safety procedures are implemented and enforced to avoid injury to gardeners and groundsmen.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a duty on all employers to protect their employees, contractors and visitors from accidents and injuries and gardeners are no exception.

If you have been injured while working as a gardener or groundsman and the accident was someone else’s fault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. To discuss the individual circumstances of your accident to find out if a claim is possible, call us on 08000 224 224 or complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim forms.

You will be under no obligation to instruct us and we will assess your claim as quickly as possible to let you know if we can help.

Types of injury suffered by Gardeners and Groundsmen

Common accidents involving Gardeners and Groundsmen

Some of the most common causes of accidents and injuries suffered by gardeners and groundsmen are listed below. If the exact circumstances of your case is not mentioned we may still be able to help you make a personal injury claim. To find out more about how we could help you, call us on 08000 224 224 or complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim forms.

Dangerous Machinery

Gardeners and groundsmen frequently have to use a wide variety of potentially dangerous tools and equipment as part of their job. Mowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers and other power tools often have very sharp blades or rotating parts which can cause catastrophic injuries, such as amputations or deep lacerations.

All machinery and tools should be inspected regularly and kept in a good state of repair. Gardeners and groundsmen should be provided with full training on how to operate the machinery safely and should also be provided with appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which should prevent or at least minimise any injuries sustained.

To read more in depth information about working with dangerous machinery visit our Dangerous Machinery at Work page.

Vibrating Tools

Some of the power tools and mowers used by gardeners and groundsmen give off levels of vibration which can be harmful if they are used over a prolonged period of time without proper breaks and appropriate PPE.

Thompsons’ specialist industrial disease solicitors and lawyers have dealt with many personal injury compensation claims for gardeners and groundsmen who have developed vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome as it is also known after being exposed to vibrating tools at work.

Noise Induced Deafness

Another industrial illness suffered frequently by gardeners and groundsmen is industrial deafness as many of the tools and machinery they use are power tools or motorised machines which can be very noisy.

Ear defenders are an essential piece of PPE for anyone operating loud machinery including gardeners and groundsmen.

If you suspect that your hearing has been damaged by your working environment contact your GP who should help you arrange the necessary tests.

Exposure to Chemicals

As part of a gardener’s or groundsman’s job the use of chemicals is sometimes required. Chemicals are found in cleaning products and in gardening related products such as pesticides and weed killers.

There are detailed regulations in place which are designed to protect all workers from exposure to chemicals and other substances in the workplace and these are called “The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations” (COSHH).

The COSHH regulations state that employers must first try to avoid using any chemicals known to be hazardous and replace them with safe alternatives. If this is impossible, they must minimise the exposure and provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For a gardener or groundsman, this may include gloves, boots, overalls or goggles.

Dangerous chemicals can cause problems with the skin such as dermatitis, neurological problems or breathing problems such as asthma.

Working at Height

As part of their job, gardeners and groundsmen may need to work at height, for example when cutting back or felling trees.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (amended in 2007) are intended to protect everyone who has to work at height including gardeners and groundsmen. The regulations apply equally whether the person is just a few feet up a set of ladders or much higher in a cherry picker or harness system.

Falls from height can result in a whole range of different injuries including fatalities.

To read more about working at height, visit our Compensation Claims relating to Falls from Height at Work page.

Needlestick Injuries

Unfortunately gardeners and groundsmen can be at risk of needlestick injuries whilst at work, particularly if they are working in public parks or other areas which are popular with drug users.

With needlestick injuries, the victim not only has to suffer the pain from the initial injury itself but also the stress and worry that they may have contracted a blood-borne virus (BBV) such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

Tests to determine whether an infection has been contracted can take months to complete and this wait is understandably agonising for anyone who has suffered a needlestick injury.

Gardeners and groundsmen should have all the tools and PPE they require to carry out jobs such as collecting up piles of leaves and clearing cuttings from mowers to eliminate the need for them to use their bare hands for these jobs and risk a needlestick injury from a hidden syringe.

Lifting Heavy Objects

Mowers and other types of machinery which gardeners have to use are often very heavy.  The most common type of injury to suffer after lifting a heavy object is a back injury but injuries to feet, toes, arms and shoulders are also not uncommon.

A gardener's employer has a duty to review the working practices and eliminate any manual handling which is not absolutely necessary. They should also carry out a risk assessment of all of the manual handling which cannot be eliminated and which may cause an injury as well as trying to reduce the risk of injury from all essential manual handling as much as possible.