Spring means the start of the chore of yard work. Yes as the spring flowers and trees begin to bloom, more and more of us are outside working in our yards. The power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. Each year, approximately 70,000 persons with injuries caused by power mowers were treated in emergency departments. More than 9,000 of the people hurt were younger than 15 years. Older children and adolescents were most often hurt while cutting lawns as chores or as a way to earn money.
Lawn mower injuries include deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, and eye and other injuries. Some injuries are very serious. Both users of mowers and those who are nearby can be hurt. Mowing your lawn all starts with safety preparation and awareness.
- Never smoke when filling the gas tank.
- Store gasoline in a container with a UL, FM, or CSA label. Mark you container to say G-A-S so everyone knows what it is and that it is flammable.
- Never keep gasoline in the house or fill gas tank indoors.
- Never store the machine or fuel container where there is an open flame, spark, or pilot light such as near a water heater or other appliances.
- Never fill containers inside a vehicle or on a truck bed with a plastic bed liner. Always place containers on the ground away from your vehicle before filling.
- Wipe up gasoline spills immediately and do not attempt to start the engine but move the machine away from the area of spillage and avoid creating any source of ignition until fuel vapors have dissipated.
- Never over-fill the fuel tank. Replace gas cap and tighten securely.
- Never remove the gas cap or add fuel with the engine running. Allow the engine to cool, before refueling.
Safety for All Mowers
- Be sure to completely read the safety information contained in the operator’s manual.
- Never tamper with safety devices. Check their proper operation regularly.
- Do not allow children anywhere near the area of operation. Tragic accidents can occur with children. Children are often attracted to the unit and mowing activity.
- Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them.
- If there is a risk that children may enter the area where you are mowing, have another responsible adult watch them.
- The blades on mowers spin very fast and can pick up and throw debris that could seriously injure a bystander. Objects can be propelled at speeds greater than 200 MPH
- Be sure to clean up the area to be mowed before you start mowing.
- Do not operate a lawnmower with the discharge guard (reflector) or engine grass catcher installed.
- The Mower Deck has spinning mowers blades that can amputate hands and feet.
- Do not allow anyone near the mower while it is running.
- Always allow the mower blade(s) to stop completely before leaving the mower’s operator position.
- Always turn off mower when crossing a sidewalk or a driveway.
Safety For Riding Mowers
- Do not give children rides on a riding mower, even with the mower blades not turning.
- Children may fall off and be badly injured or interfere with safe machine operation.
- Children who have been given rides in the past may suddenly appear in the mowing area for another ride and be run over or backed over by the machine.
- Do not mow with a riding mower in reverse unless absolutely necessary.
- You can be seriously injured or even killed if you use a riding mower on too steep an incline.
- Using a riding mower on a slope that is too steep, or where you don’t have adequate traction can cause you to lose control or roll over.
- Always consult your operator’s manual for safety messages concerning operation on a slope.
Safety For Walk-Behind Mowers
- Do not put your hands or feet near or under the mower.
- Never tilt a walk-behind mower; always keep all four wheels on the ground.
- Do not pull the mower backward unless absolutely necessary. Always look down and behind before and while mowing backwards.
Safety For Electric Mowers
- Use only recommended, grounded extension cords.
- Mow away from the cord.
- Never abuse the cord or use a frayed cord.
- Always turn off the mower when you leave it and unplug the cord directly from the outlet; never unplug by yanking the cord from the wall.
- Never use an electric mower when wet or raining.
- Never wear sandals while mowing lawns. Open-toed shoes cannot protect your foot if it slips into the blade or from other flying objects that the lawn mower might throw.
- Never wear baggy clothing while mowing lawns. Loose clothing can get caught up in the lawn mower controls and other moving parts.
- It is generally a good idea to wear long pants while mowing lawns. Long pants will protect your legs from debris that is thrown from the lawn mower.
- Always wear eye protection while mowing and trimming. It is a lot easier to have a lawn mowing business when you have two eyes.
- Always wear shoes that have good traction while mowing lawns. Slipping and falling might cause you to lose control of your mower which could result in it running over something it is not supposed to.
- Always look for holes in the lawn so you do not step in them and twist your ankle.
- Always make sure children and pets are not in the lawn while you are mowing. They usually do not understand the dangers associated with lawn mowers.
- Never mow the lawn when it is dark outside. You need to be able to see where you are mowing so you don’t run over anything.
- Always wear sunscreen while mowing lawns. Sun is more damaging to your skin than you think.
- Always drink plenty of water before, during and after mowing lawns. Lawn mowing is a physically demanding activity and your body will not function properly without plenty of water.
- Never mow wet grass. Wet grass is slippery. You could fall and slip under the mower.
- Never work on a mower unless the spark plug is removed first.
- Never mow a lawn while it is lightning or thundering. If you can see lightning or hear thunder while you are in the middle of mowing a lawn, abandon your mower and get inside.
- Your safety should always be your first priority while mowing lawns. If for any reason at all, you feel unsafe, STOP, regroup and complete your lawn mowing Safely.
Lawn Mower Safety Tips, don’t take them for granted. WE DON’T WANT YOUR FOOT TO LOOK LIKE THIS!
Information provided by National Safety Council, Mayo Clinic, Progressive Agriculture Safety Fair, ASSE, and Lawn care .com
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald
Safety and Security Manager for Plateau