Safety issues

In addition to being mindful of safety concerns related to the use of project materials, it is also important to be aware of how the arrangement of the treatment space impacts participant safety. Which safety concerns are relevant in each situation depends on both the characteristics of the participants and the space itself. Some issues to consider follow.


  • • Be aware of entrances and exits, particularly with participants who have a tendency to wander or dash from the session.
  • • This is especially important during sessions where participants are not seated, such as in a garden area.

Tripping and slipping hazards

  • • Keep aisles and paths clear of buckets, hoses, and other equipment.
  • • Eliminate moss/algae growth.
  • • Modify flooring surface to a material that is not slippery when wet. Access to storage
  • • Tools, equipment, chemicals, and other supplies that pose a hazard if misused should be stored in a locked cabinet.
  • • Be aware of access to the space while horticultural therapy sessions are not taking place, if the room is kept open.
  • • An inventory system for keeping track of locked items also alerts the therapist if an item is not returned at the end of the session (Figure 5.6).
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