Battery vs Petrol: Exposure to Noise, Vibration & Fumes

Recent research conducted by EGO Power Plus reveals the negative side effects of prolonged exposure to noise generated from petrol-powered tools. The tests compared noise levels emitted by both petrol and battery-powered rotary mowers, hedge trimmers, grass trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. They found that petrol tools were up to three times louder than their electric counterparts. Four of the machines exceeded the daily noise limit of 87 decibels, while two surpassed 100 decibels.

Emma Gayler, ambassador for EGO’s Challenge 2025 campaign, states: “Many gardening professionals are still working with petrol-powered tools for hours upon hours every day, and without the correct personal protective equipment to help reduce the impact of the noise levels these tools generate… many could be doing more damage than they realise.”

Health Impacts of Petrol-Powered Tools

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution generated by petrol-powered outdoor equipment regularly exceeds the daily exposure limit. This machinery is commonly used by domestic gardeners and gardening professionals

Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to serious health effects of the human endocrine system and brain. Noise pollution can also cause hearing loss, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and mental health problems. It has similar effects on nearby wildlife.

Health Impacts of Petrol-Powered Tools

The World Health Organisation cites noise as being second only to air quality as the largest environmental cause of health problems.

At 4th Corner we operate battery powered machinery and equipment, including strimmers and hedge cutters, to protect our staff and reduce noise pollution for our customers.

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV)

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) is a neuromuscular disorder that causes numbness and muscle weakness. It can lead to serious conditions, such as Vibration White Finger (VWF), carpal tunnel syndrome, and gangrene.

HAV is a common symptom in horticultural workers, as they use petrol-powered equipment for prolonged periods. This includes petrol-powered garden tools like leaf blowers, chainsaws, mowers and strimmers or brush cutters, used in both domestic gardens and commercial grounds. Anti-HAV gloves should be worn when operating petrol-powered machinery.

At 4th Corner all our employees wear PPE anti-HAV gloves and undertake the HSE HAVS assessment as part of H&S at Work Best Practice, we also use battery powered equipment to reduce HAV further.

Emissions and Fumes

Regular exposure to toxic fumes produced by petrol-powered tools and other equipment can cause acute, long-term health problems including cancer and aplastic anaemia.

At 4th Corner all our 2-Stroke machinery is run on Aspen alkylate petrol which contains 99% less harmful hydrocarbons compared to regular petrol, making our working practices safer for both residents and operatives.

Health Impacts of Petrol-Powered Tools

Understanding the Importance of PPE

Gardening Jobs for Autumn

A Trip to the Depot!