WHEN you think of gardening, you probably don’t envisage it as a particularly high-risk pastime, but it’s a lot more strenuous and potentially dangerous than you might imagine.
Although stereotypically viewed as the preferred pursuit of retirees and housewives, gardening actually involves an awful lot of heavy lifting, sharp objects, and potentially lethal equipment, whether carried out in a professional or purely pleasurable capacity.
So, what do you need before you head outdoors and make a start on your flowerbeds? Here are four pieces of safety wear that every green-fingered gardener should invest in…
Steel toe cap boots
Gardening boots ought to be a number of things, tough, sturdy, and waterproof being the most obvious. What not everyone realises is that steel toecaps should also be added to this list of essential criteria. The reason for this is a simple one: your feet need protection. Given you’ll be wielding everything from spades to pitchforks, with the express intention of driving these as deep into the ground as you can, toes are an easy target to hit should you misjudge your aim. One slip is all it takes, and without proper footwear, a trip to Accident & Emergency is a given.
Gardening gloves are perhaps the most predictable piece of clothing on this list, but that doesn’t make them any less essential. The only way to protect your hands from getting pricked by thorns or chopped by your secateurs, they need to be tough, waterproof, and have good grip, too. More importantly, they need to be carefully selected so they have enough flexibility to accommodate chopping, grasping, and other forms of precision work associated with gardening. There is nothing worse or more limiting than bulky hand-wear and a lack of ‘feel’ – and nothing more likely to cause an unwitting accident, either!
Eye and ear protection
On a slightly less obvious note, we also recommend investing in both eye and ear protection from a specialist company like Engelbert Strauss. Given the exceptionally loud equipment you’ll use for bigger tasks, and the likelihood of flying debris resulting from such endeavours, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and make sure you’re properly protected. This sort of thing is best purchased from proper workwear retailers like the one we’ve linked to above, as this is the only way to ensure its credentials and make certain that expert advice is on hand should you need any help with making your selection.
Last but not least, you might want to consider purchasing a proper pair of protective trousers before you head outdoors. It’s not uncommon to find yourself snagged on thorns or pulling slivers of wood from your clothing post-gardening, and the best way to avoid injury and save your everyday clothes from getting ruined is by having proper safety wear to change into. These can be picked up pretty cheaply online, so if gardening is a frequent hobby, you can always buy a few different pairs to see you through.
We think we spy a shopping trip on the horizon – don’t you?