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 and can even cause fatalities.
To read more about working at height, visit our guide on how to avoid falls when working at height.
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.
Gardening Back Injuries
Mowers and other types of machinery which gardeners have to use are often very heavy. Back injuries are therefore often the most common gardening injury. However, 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.
Getting support from Thompsons Solicitors for a gardening injury at work
We have never understood how some personal injury firms act for people who have been injured in workplace accidents, while also advising employers and insurance companies who are contesting accident at work claims. At Thompsons Solicitors, we have only ever, and will only ever, fight on behalf of the injured or the mistreated, never employers or insurance companies.
Our #ForEveryWorker Injured campaign reminds workers from all industries that Thompsons Solicitors' is here for them should they suffer a workplace accident or experience injustice at work.
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 0800 0 224 224 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.