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 gardening injuries.

The Health and Safety at Work 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 sustained an injury at work where someone else was at fault, you can claim for compensation. For free, no-obligation legal advice, call us on 0800 0 224 224 or complete our online claim form.


Common gardening injuries at work

Some of the most common causes of accidents and injuries suffered by gardeners and grounds people are listed below. If the exact circumstances of your case are not mentioned we may still be able to help you make a personal injury claim. 


Dangerous machinery

Gardeners and grounds people 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 grounds people 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.



Vibrating tools

Some of the power tools and mowers used by gardeners and grounds people 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 vibration injury claims for gardeners who have developed vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) after being exposed to vibrating tools at work.


earmuffs gardener at work

Noise induced hearing loss

Another industrial illness suffered frequently by gardeners and grounds people is industrial hearing loss 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.

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 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 grounds person, 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 grounds people 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. 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.


Needlestick injuries

Unfortunately, gardeners and grounds people 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 grounds people 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 #ForEveryWorkerInjured 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 grounds person 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 our online personal injury compensation claim form.

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.