Working as a Landscape Gardener both you and your employees are required to work in all types of weather conditions. In the warm summer months, it is important to take adequate precautions against exposure to sun, heat and insect bites to avoid both short and long-term health risks.
Protecting Your Employees
If you employee anyone within your business, be it on a permanent or part-time basis, you have a duty of care to their safety and continued protection. Should they suffer injury or illness as a result of their employment they may hold you responsible and make a claim against the Employers Liability section of your Landscape Gardening Insurance policy.
Employee Training and Protection
Whilst there is an expectation when employees are working outside that they will be open to the elements, to protect yourself adequately, you should always provide adequate guidance, training and support to reduce risk. This should include the provision of work-wear and protective clothing as applicable.
The following guides should assist you in putting together your training and best practice safety plan for working in warm conditions:
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can be extremely harmful:
- Clothing - Wear lightweight, tightly woven clothing that you can’t see through.
- Sunscreen / Sun-block - A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 per cent of UV rays. Be sure to follow application directions, particularly in terms of frequency.
- Wear a hat - Ideally a hat should protect your neck, ears, forehead, nose and scalp.
- Wear UV-absorbent Sunglasses - Sunglasses should block 99 to 100 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy, read the product label carefully to check the UV protection level.
Working in Hot Conditions
The combination of humidity and heat and can be a serious health threat during the summer months. To reduce the impact of heat:
- Hydration - Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty.
- Clothing - Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as dry-fit material.
- Food - Eat smaller meals before work activity.
- Avoid Caffine - Skip the caffeine and fizzy drinks; drink water instead.
- Equipment - Be aware that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress.
Tick Bites & Lyme Disease
If you’re working in tall grass or wooded areas, take the following precautions to protect yourself from tick bites, which can lead to bacterial infection in the form of Lyme disease:
- Wear light-coloured clothing to see ticks more easily.
- Wear long sleeves and long trousers.
- Tuck trouser legs into socks or boots.
- Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover your feet completely.
- Wear a hat.
- Use tick repellents, but not on your face.
- Wash and dry your work clothes at high temperatures.
Examine your body for ticks after work. Remove any attached ticks promptly with a tweezers. In some regions, ticks may transmit Lyme disease. If you get bit and develop a rash, see your doctor.
Insect Stings and Bites
Wasp, bee and hornet stings are typically only dangerous to those who are allergic or have been stung multiple times
- Wear insect repellent.
- Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or scented lotions.
- Check before drinking from cups, bottles or cans. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet drinks.
If you have employees, you should include allergy questioning as part of your new-starter process and ensure that appropriate medication is made available to the employee at all times.
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