Hedge trimmer training sessions aim to cut contractor accidents

Contractors from 30 companies have become ambassadors for best practice hedge trimmer use after attending special training organised by BALI-NCF and Stihl.

Learners at the Oatridge College session. Image: BALI-NCF

The ‘train the trainer’ sessions took place at four different land-based colleges across the UK in January and February. More than 200 people who are responsible for on-site training at their companies completed the day and left with training materials and knowledge to disseminate.

BALI-NCF organised the training following an analysis of accident statistics shared for the first time by member organisations last year. The figures revealed that incorrect hedge trimmer use was a major risk to safety.

The programme provided a combination of classroom teaching and hands-on practical hedge trimmer use. Topics covered included correct PPE, the effect of noise and vibration exposure, refuelling, good work practices, and how to make both horizontal and vertical cuts.

BALI-NCF chairman Phil Jones said: "There is a real will among the NCF members to work together to reduce workplace injuries across our industry. Our goal is for every one of our employees to return safely home each day.  We have made a good start in delivering on this, through the expert training delivered by Stihl GB. The ultimate measure of success, however, will be a significant and sustained reduction in injuries within our industry."

The half-day sessions took place at Sparsholt College (South),  Harper Adams University (Midlands), Oatridge College (Scotland) and Myerscough College (North).

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