Here are a few safety tips to think about when you buy your garden chipper or shredder. Some may seem obvious but you would be amazed how many people ignore them, often with disastrous consequences.
- Do invest in safety gear, at the very least we recommend some strong garden gloves and goggles. Think about a decent quality helmet, like a chainsaw helmet, which will have a visor to protect you from flying chips, and built in ear-muffs/defender. Strong gardening or working type trousers and jackets can protect you from brambles and other foliage scratches and stings.
- Don’t ever put your hand inside the feeding neck or chute, or in fact any part of the machine, when the shredder is on. Although most are designed so you cannot get your hands near the cutting or chipping mechanism, it is always advisable to be cautious when dealing with powered machinery. If there is a blockage, if something becomes jammed, use the reverse function if your machine has one. If it does not, you could use a larger branch to push the stuck item through. Otherwise TURN IT OFF OR DISCONNECT IT and let it cool before you do anything else.
- Do put branches through thick end first, that way the branch is less likely to move around and hit you or anyone else if there is a problem
- Do go through a basic safety checklist before you start. E.g.
- Check your machine’s stability.
- If it has a brake or lock, make sure it is on
- Make sure the emergency stop or safety stop is set if you have one
- Make sure any outlet chute is aimed in a safe direction, and cannot spray wood chips at humans, pets or delicate plants
6. Don't ignore the manual and make sure you know your particular machine’s capabilities and quirks