Sometimes it’s necessary to work at height in order to keep your garden in good shape. But whether you’re a DIY enthusiast with a range of ladders for different tasks, or you’ve never had to think about working at height before, it is important that you take care. Anyone can be at risk of an accident when they work at height if they don’t prioritise safety.

When do you need to work at height in the garden?

There are plenty of tasks in the garden that could require you to work at height. The most common occurrence is when you need to get access in order to trim hedges or trees, but there are a range of other reasons too. This could include maintenance work on a greenhouse, shed or conservatory, or carrying out DIY work on the outside of the house.

No matter what kind of task you’re working on, you need to take safety seriously. While you might feel comfortable and safe in your own garden, any time you have to work at height it is vital you take the correct safety precautions.

Ladder safety checks

Most work at height in the garden involves using some sort of ladder, so it’s very important you understand ladder safety and carry out checks before you use them. Firstly, make sure that you examine the ladder carefully to ensure it is clean, undamaged and in good general condition. A ladder in poor condition could be at risk of buckling, sliding or falling when you use it.

Then follow the correct procedures for setting up the ladder, including only ever working on a flat and level surface. Also remember that you should never use a ladder that isn’t suitable for the job at hand. If the ladder is too short, or doesn’t allow you to work comfortably you need to use a different form of access equipment.

Using tools

Working at height while using tools adds another range of safety hazards. You need to be sure that you can safely carry the tool up and down the ladder and that any cables that you use are designed for outdoor use. Also ensure that the equipment has a cut-off so that if stops immediately if you have an accident.

It should also be obvious, but remember never to use electric power tools or a strimmer in wet weather.

The right equipment

You also need to make sure that you are always using the correct equipment. This starts with what you wear while you work at height – choose sensible closed-toe footwear as an essential. It is also worth considering other personal protective equipment such as gloves as well as eye and ear protection.

Additionally, you need to use the right sort of ladder for the work you’re carrying out. You must be able to use the ladder safely and in the way that the manufacturer recommends in order to carry out the work without risk. If you can’t do this then you should look into purchasing another ladder.