Keeping Safe When Spring Gardening
We certainly don’t want you to become sick working in and around the garden. So, we’ve put together a handy guide to help keep you safe and reduce your risk of contracting legionnaires disease when spring gardening this year.
How to Keep Safe While Completing Your Spring Gardening
We’ve got plenty of jobs on our spring gardening to-do list. Pruning, weed removal, mulching, tidying up the lawn and fertilising are just some of them. But there are also those high-risk spring jobs where undertaking them poses a risk of contracting legionnaires disease.
The legionnaires' bacteria thrives in warm and moist environments, such as the one bags of potting mix or compost (even homemade compost) ca provide. An airborne bacterium, it is released into the atmosphere when a potting mix or compost bag is opened, or potting mix or compost is moved around.
To keep yourself safe, experts recommend that when working with compost and potting mix, a gardener:
- should wear a face mask
- cut open and not rip compost or potting mix bags away from their face
- potting mix and compost is moistened down with water before use to reduce dust exposure
- gloves are worn when handling it
- chooses an outdoor area or well ventilated indoor area is chosen when using potting mix or compost
- washes their hands after handling it
There are additional hazards a gardener can face besides legionnaires disease when spring gardening. Here at Tree Gifts, the safety of our team members is paramount when we are gardening or preparing your order. Some of the hazards we face are likely to be the same for any gardener, including:
- cuts and bruises from using equipment such as forks, secateurs, spades and trowels
- sprains or sore backs from incorrect body posture when gardening
- getting cold and wet by not wearing appropriate clothing
By being aware of the hazards, we can all mitigate the likelihood of us obtaining any illness or injuries. Vigilance is key here and we can all play a role. For further information on the legionellosis bacteria specifically, we recommend consulting the Ministry of Health’s website for advice.