For how long can I safely use hedge trimmers before needing a break?

It is worth remembering that excessive fatigue,  as well as the effects of vibration on hands and arms can cause problems, reduce alertness and attention and many experts suggest each period of work should be no more than thirty to forty minutes, followed by a rest period of between ten and twenty minutes. 


With regards to vibration generally, you can reduce the potential for damage and discomfort by following a few simple rules, as advised by the H&S executive.


•  Try to purchase a pair of hedge trimmers with a suitable anti-vibration/shock absorbing system.


•  Check your hedge trimmers over before each use and keep them properly maintained and repaired to avoid increased vibration created by faults or general wear and tear


•  Make sure your hedge trimmers are kept sharp, and therefore efficient, to reduce cutting time and excess vibration


•  Reduce the amount of time you use your hedge trimmers carrying out other tasks in between hedges/sessions in between or having regular breaks.


•  Avoid gripping your hedge trimmers more or more forcibly than you need to  


•  Store your hedge trimmers somewhere warm or wrap them up so that they do not have cold handles when you use them next.


•  Encourage good blood circulation by:

  1. Keeping warm and dry
  2. Wearing good quality gloves, a hat, waterproofs and use heating pads if available when working in cold weather
  3. Massaging and exercising your fingers during work breaks.

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