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Gardener

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Synonyms: Garden caretaker; greenskeeper; groundskeeper; horticulturist; landscape specialist; park worker

Job profile

Definition and/or description

DEF8

Makes, or works in, a garden. Maintains grounds of public, private, industrial or commercial property, performing any combination of the following tasks: conditions soil by digging, turning, ploughing, fertilizing, etc; plants grass, flowers, shrubs and trees; waters lawn, flowers and shrubs; cuts lawns; trims and edges around walks, flower beds and walls; prunes shrubs and trees; sprays lawn, shrubs and trees with insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers; cleans and disinfects or sterilizes gardening tools and equipment; formulates and prepares pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, soil additive or other solutions or mixtures; removes damaged leaves, branches or twigs; rakes and bags leaves; cleans grounds and removes litter; carts away or burns litter, leaves, paper, etc; shovels snow from walks and driveways; may sharpen gardening tools; may make minor repairs of equipment; may repair and/or paint fences, walls, gates and walks; may clean drainage ditches and culverts; may measure moisture level in soil.

Tasks

TASK

Bagging (leaves); bailing; budding; burning; carting; cleaning; clipping; conditioning (soil); cropping; culling; cutting; detasselling; digging; disinfecting; draining; drying; dusting; edging; fertilizing; formulating; fumigating; gathering; grading (terrain); grafting; harrowing; harvesting; hoeing; husking; irrigating; maintaining; making; measuring (moisture, etc.); mending; mowing; mulching; painting; performing (tasks); picking; planting; plowing; potting; preparing (mixtures, etc.); propagating; pruning; raking; reaping; repairing; removing; sawing; sharpening; shearing; shelling; shovelling; sorting; sowing; spading; spiking; spraying; spreading; sterilizing; stringing; thinning; threshing; tilling; transplanting; trimming; turning (soil); watering; weeding; winnowing.

Primary equipment used

EQUIP18

Lawn mower (manual or power-operated); clippers; weed cutters; edging tools; shears; ploughs; pruners; saws; spades; sprayers; sprinklers; spreaders; rakes; brooms; spiked sticks; shovels; trowels; knives; cultivators; hoses and watering cans; forks and aerator forks; thatchers; carts; tractors with various appendages; water sensor gauges.

Hazards

Accident hazards

ACCHA1

– Falls from heights (e.g., ladders, platforms or roofs), slips and falls on level ground (on mud or on wet soil or grass) or trips and falls on uneven soils or over various gardening implements, causing bruises, concussion, cuts or bone breakage;

– Overturning with, or falls from, tractors and other field vehicles or towed platforms;

– Clothing, hair or beard entanglement between moving parts of electrical or engine-driven machinery;

– Accidents with gardening tools (cutters, clippers, shears, rakes, hoes, etc.) as a result of tool slippage, inattention, breakage, stepping or falling on tools, etc., causing stabs, scratches, pinches, contusions, wounds, amputation of fingers, etc.;

– Ejection of flying particles (sand, stones, wood pieces, rubber or nylon cord, etc.) during work with power-driven mowers, saws, etc., causing injury to the eyes, contusions, etc.;

– Stabs from thorny plants;

– Snake, scorpion, bee, wasp, rodent, insect and dog bites or stings, causing wounds, pain, swelling, local or general poisoning, etc.;

– Electrocution or electric shock from contact with exposed live wires (e.g., overhead power lines when transporting metal piping) or during work with faultily insulated electrical equipment;

– Spillage of acids (e.g., nitric acid used for disinfecting tools) or other corrosive chemicals on the skin or clothing, or into eyes, causing chemical burns, rashes, severe eye injuries, etc.;

– Acute poisoning by accidental ingestion or inhalation of pesticides or other toxic agricultural chemicals.

Physical hazards

PHYSIC1

– Excessive noise levels from mechanized equipment (mowers, saws, etc.), causing damage to the eardrum with possible loss of hearing;

– Overexposure to sunlight causing sunburn, heatstroke, skin melanomas, etc.;

– Exposure to harsh weather (cold, rain, snow, wind) causing frostbite, colds (with possible complications if work is continued under such conditions), etc.

Chemical hazards

CHEMHA15

– Dermatitis and other skin ailments as a result of prolonged contact with agrochemicals or solvents or by systemic effects due to inhalation of chemicals;

– Chronic poisoning as a result of prolonged inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin of agricultural chemicals containing heavy metals, (e.g., cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic), organophosphorous compounds, amines, etc.;

– Increased damage to skin presensitized by chemical exposures through exposure to sunlight (cytophotochemical effects).

Biological hazards

BIOHAZ1

– Contact with allergenic plants, flowers, weeds, etc. (e.g., Ficus benjamina, various cacti, etc.) causing dermatoses, asthma, etc.;

– Inhalation of allergenic dust, pollen, oils, vapours, etc., of plant origin, causing hay fever, asthma, etc.;

– Contact of open wounds with manure, parasites, bird and animal excretions, insects, etc, causing local or general infections including tetanus, anthrax, etc.;

– Zoonotic diseases (e.g., spotted fever, Q-fever);

– Leptospirosis as a result of penetration of leptospirae through broken skin;

– Fungal diseases, caused by fungi present in the soil or on plant leaves (e.g., allergic aspergillosis, histoplasmosis (a pulmonary infection), etc.);

– Parasitic diseases caused by tick, chigger and mite bites (e.g., straw itch) or by larvae penetrating through broken skin (e.g., hookworm disease, ascariasis). In some cases, the infections may develop into neurotoxic effects and paralysis.

Ergonomic and social factors

ERGO

Repetitive hand motions, incorrect postures (e.g., when planting flowers), lifting and carrying of heavy loads, etc., may cause low back pain, upper and lower limb ailments and other musculoskeletal problems.

Addendum

Notes

NOTES

  1. This occupation is commonly encountered in municipal services and on public, industrial, commercial or private grounds.
  2. According to published reports, as a result of exposure to various agrochemicals, gardeners may be at increased risk of carcinogenic and mutagenic effects; pregnant female gardeners may be at increased risk of spontaneous abortions and fœtotoxic or teratogenic effects.
  3. Chemicals to which a gardener may be exposed include a great variety of agricultural chemicals and formulations, including insecticides (organophosphorous, organochlorine, carba- mates, pyridyl, arsenicals, etc.), rodenticides, fungicides, liquid and gas fumigants (e.g., dibromoethane, methyl bromide), herbicides, fertilizers, etc.; fuels and lubricating oils; acids, cleaning and sterilizing compounds, solvents (particularly kerosene in pesticide formulations), etc.

 

References

International Labour Organization (ILO). 1979. Guide to Health and Hygiene in Agricultural Work. Geneva: ILO.

Worksafe Australia. 1995. Agriculture and Services to Agriculture Industries. Occupational Health and Safety Performance Overviews. Selected Industries, Issue No. 9. Canberra: Government of Australia.

 

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Contents

Preface
Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Part XVIII. Guides
Guide to Occupations
Guide to Chemicals
Guide to Units and Abbreviations

Guide to Occupations References

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Commission of the European Communities (CEC). 1991-93. International Chemical Safety Cards. 10 vols. Luxembourg: CEC.

—. 1993. Compiler’s Guide for the Preparation of International Chemical Safety Cards (First Revision). Luxembourg: CEC International Programme on Chemical Safety (UNEP/ILO/WHO).

Donagi, AE et al. 1983. Potential Hazards in Various Occupations, a Preliminary List [card file]. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University School of Medicine, Research Institute of Environmental Health.

Donagi, AE (ed.). 1993. A Guide to Health and Safety Hazards in Various Occupations: The Health System. 2 vols. Tel-Aviv: Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene.

Haddon, W, EA Suchman, and D Klein. 1964. Accident Research: Methods and Approaches. New York: Harpers and Row.

International Labour Organization (ILO). 1978. International Standard Classification of Occupations, revised edition. Geneva: ILO.

—. 1990. International Standard Classification of Occupations: ISCO-88. Geneva: ILO.

International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS). 1995. International Safety Datasheets on Occupations. Steering Committee meeting, 9-10 March. Geneva: International Labour Organization.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 1977. Occupational Diseases: A Guide to Their Recognition. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-181. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

Stellman, JM and SM Daum. 1973. Work Is Dangerous to Your Health. New York: Vintage Books.

United Nations. 1971. Indexes to the International Standard Classification of All Economic Activities. UN Publication No. WW.71.XVII, 8. New York: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

US Department of Labor (DOL). 1991. Dictionary of Occupational Titles, 4th (revised) edition. Washington, DC: DOL.

—. 1991. The Revised Handbook for Analyzing Jobs. Washington, DC: DOL.