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Ohio State University Extension


Thorn Bushes for Trainers and Supervisors

Tailgate Safety Training for Landscaping and Horticultural Services
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Objective: Work safely around thorn bushes.

Trainer’s Note

Workers may have to work near or with thorn bushes. While thorn bushes are not especially dangerous, they can cause injuries if precautions are not taken. For this module:

  • Review the contents of this module with your workers.
  • Discuss important points with your workers.
  • Ask workers what thorn bushes they encounter in the area.
  • Review the important points.
  • Have workers take the True/False quiz to check their learning.


Many bushes, shrubs, and scrub trees have thorns. Some examples are rose, multiflora rose, blackberry, and raspberry bushes. If you have to work near or with these plants, be aware that the thorns are sharp. Thorns can cause cuts, lacerations, and scratches to your skin.

How to Avoid Contact With Thorns

  • Always wear gloves. Leather gloves are best.
  • Wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants. Clothing made of thicker cloth is better.
  • Wear work shoes or boots. Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes.
  • If you are cutting bushes, wear eye protection and a safety hard hat.

If Cuts, Lacerations, or Scratches Occur

  • Try not to get dirt into the scratch or wound. Dirt can cause an infection.
  • Clean the wound with rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply iodine or an anti-bacterial ointment.
  • If the scratch is deep, apply a band-aid or bandage.
  • If infection should occur, see a doctor.

Review These Important Points

  • Be aware that thorns are sharp and can scratch or cut your skin.
  • Always wear gloves when you handle thorn bushes.
  • Clean cuts and scratches with rubbing alcohol and apply iodine or an anti-bacterial ointment.

About These Modules
The author team for the training modules in the landscape and horticultural tailgate training series includes Dee Jepsen, Program Director, Agricultural Safety and Health, Ohio State University Extension; Michael Wonacott, Research Specialist, Vocational Education; Peter Ling, Greenhouse Specialist; and Thomas Bean, Agricultural Safety Specialist. Modules were developed with funding from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant Number 46E3-HT09.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Answer Key

1. F

2. T

3. T

4. T

5. T


Quiz: Thorn Bushes



True or False?

1. It is not necessary to wear gloves when working with thorn bushes.     T     F

2. If you are cutting bushes, wear eye protection and a safety hard hat.     T     F

3. Clean cuts with rubbing alcohol.     T     F

4. Dirt in a wound can cause an infection.     T     F

5. See a doctor if infection occurs.     T     F

Originally posted Jun 11, 2018.