How Low Noise and Vibration Impact the Usability of Garden Tools
Professional and casual gardeners alike are familiar with the uncomfortable vibrations and deafening roars of petrol-powered trimmers and lawnmowers. It’s because of these annoyances and especially the subsequent health risks, that a battery-powered revolution of quiet and comfortable garden tools is on the rise.
The problems with high noise and vibration levels
Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can not only contribute to physical ailments such as tinnitus and hearing loss, but it can also contribute to mental health issues like depression, due to a continuous and chronic level of stress being placed on the body. Over time, these mental health issues can, in turn, contribute to physical health issues like cognitive impairment and a higher heart rate, which it’s estimated contributes to around 48,000 premature deaths each year.
As well as causing damage to your well-being, prolonged levels of high noise from gardening tools can disturb the lives of your neighbours and wildlife in the surrounding area, as animals will become distressed and fearful.
Being exposed to high levels of vibration can also hurt physical health, with users running the risk of losing hand strength, or even possibly developing Raynaud’s disease, which affects the blood circulation in your hands and fingers. This should be particularly concerning to professionals who use garden tools daily, as it could not only potentially harm their health, but could also lower productivity if exposure limits are reached early in the week, leaving jobs unable to be done.
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (2005) direct that employers must identify potential exposure to hand-arm vibration and introduce measures to reduce or if possible, eliminate the risk, lest they be fined. In July 2023, Plymouth City Council were fined £200,000 for failing to address “prolonged and uncontrolled exposure” to hand-arm vibration in the workplace.
To lower noise and vibration in gardening and raise the usability of the tools, the key is to leave behind our petrol-powered predecessors and move forward into the future with battery power.
In a we commissioned with , a leading on-site noise and vibration testing company, we found a clear disparity between the usability of petrol and battery-powered tools.
|Leaf Blower||91.80 dB (A)||84.20 dB (A)|
|Hedge Trimmer||95.10 dB (A)||84.20 dB (A)|
|Strimmer||103.80 dB (A)||88 dB (A)|
|Leaf Blower||1.78 m/s2||1.00 m/s2|
|Mower||3.27 m/s2||2.00 m/s2|
Here we can see that three out of three petrol-powered tools exceeded the daily noise exposure limit set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as 87dB(A). Two out of three petrol-powered tools also exceeded the HSE’s daily vibrational output limit of 2.5m/s2, meaning that most of them cannot be safely used for an entire working day (8hrs), whilst most battery-powered tools can.
The safety of battery powered gardening tools is unparalleled and continues to be improved, in addition, EGO’s commitment to investing in their battery technology has ensured that both run-time and performance are petrol-matching, enabling users to make the switch to battery with no concerns.
In Summary, the key to increasing the usability of garden tools is to leave behind petrol power and switch to battery, which exhibits quieter performance with much lower vibrational output. Whilst the technology is still being actively developed, there are already leaders in the space like EGO who are addressing users’ key concerns and creating products that first and foremost, keep users safe with no compromise on performance.
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