Lawn Mower Safety

February 6, 2019 | Posted in Such and Such

With another spring season rapidly approaching, the grass is starting to grow greener and faster. This means many of us will find ourselves out in the yard on a more frequent basis. The number one chore of course, is to cut the grass.  Lawn mowers are a both a staple of American life, and potentially, very dangerous.

In a two year span, an average of 36,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for walk-behind mower injures. Lawnmowers account for a large portion of amputations, with lost hand or toes being the most frequent parts lost. The energy transferred by a typical lawn mower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 Magnum. The speed of the blade can send dirt and bacteria deep into wounds creating a high risk of infection. A lawn mower also has the ability to eject a piece of metal or wood up to 100 miles per hour.

In order to avoid injury, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following guidelines when using a powered lawn mower:

Fill the fuel tank before starting the engine to cut the lawn. Never refuel the mower when it is running or while the engine is hot.

Check the lawn for debris (twigs, rocks and other objects) before mowing the lawn.

Don’t cut the grass when it’s wet. Wet clippings will probably clog the discharge chute, which could jam the rotary blade and shut down the engine. When you need to remove clippings from the chute, the rotary blade must be stopped.

Wear sturdy shoes with sure-grip soles when using the mower, never sneakers, and sandals or with bare feet. Slacks rather than shorts offer better protection for the legs.

Never allow young children to operate a power lawn mower. Children should not be allowed on or near the lawn when the rotary mower is in use.

Push the mower forward, never pull it backward.

If the lawn slopes, mow across the slope with the walk-behind rotary mower, never up and down. With a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it.

Don’t remove any safety devices on the mower. The safety features were installed to help protect against injury. Check safety features often and repair or replace if needed.

With an electric mower, organize your work so you first cut the area nearest the electrical outlet, and then gradually move away. This will minimize the chances of running over the power cord and being electrocuted.

Read the owner’s manual to become familiar with the workings of the machine. Keep the manual in a safe place so it will be handy when you need it the next time. Check the manual for hints on performing routine maintenance, checking engine oil levels and fluid in powered wheel drives, and performing maintenance when the mower is stored during the off-season.

 

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