Gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise, but it can pose health risks. There are many safety issues in the garden, and here we share some tips for just a few of them. Our best advice is to know your limitations and think a job through before you start it. Be cautious and use your common sense, read instructions, use the right tools and stay safe in your little piece of paradise.

Some common sense rules are:

1. Don’t touch someone else’s garden unless you have their permission.

2. Never eat anything in the garden unless you know it is okay.

3. Ask before you pick flowers.

4. Wear sunscreen and a hat as a routine when you are outside in the garden.

5. Wear gloves when handling soil or potting mix, when moving anything rough or sharp or when working where spiders may lurk.

6. Wear boots or solid footwear.

7. Always check inside boots before putting them on, especially if they have been stored outdoors.

8. Garden in suitable old clothes.

9. Wash hands well after handling potting mix, soil or compost.

10. When lifting something heavy, bend your knees and crouch down, then lift it by straightening your legs. To avoid back injury, do not bend over to pick up something that is heavy. Seek help to lift and move heavy or bulky materials or objects.

Where to get help:

  • In an emergency, always call triple one (111)
  • The poisons information centre phone number in New Zealand is 0800 764 766
  • Your doctor
  • Garden supply centres
  • Gardening equipment manufacturers. For example, on the Yates website we feature Safety Data Sheets for our products, this will provide the information you need if you’re concerned

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