Eight Steps for Lawn Mower Safety
By Matt Morrison
Even though many lawn mowers come with safety features, it is a powerful cutting machine that is dangerous and should be treated as such. Improper use could result in personal injury or even death. The U.S. Government estimates that 60,000 people are treated in hospitals for lawn mower related injuries. Most accidents occur when people do not know how to operate their machine properly or they don't use common sense and get careless.
- Get to know your lawn mower. Check the owner's manuals frequently to familiarize yourself with it.
- Dress properly. Do not wear open toe shoes or shorts. Don't wear loose clothing or hair that could possibly drawn into rotating parts. Use safety glasses and dust masks when the need is required.
- Prepare your lawn beforehand. Pick up rocks, sticks, wires, toys, tools or any objects that could be thrown by the blade.
- Prepare the mower. Make sure all parts are tightened and nothing is missing. Check for and correct any leaks. Check your oil levels and the lawn mower blade for proper retention.
- Handle gasoline with care. If you spill fuel, wipe it up promptly and allow time for vaporization before you start the mower. Store gasoline in a proper container away from children and your home.
- Warn other people before mowing your lawn. Keep children inside and pets penned up while operating your mower. Always be prepared to stop in case someone or something darts in the area you are mowing.
- Start your mower according to operators manual. Keep your hands and feet safely away from the mower deck while starting. Always cease starts if your engine becomes flooded to prevent ignition spark.
- Be mindful. Always be aware of your surroundings and any potential dangers that might occur. Don't let the subconscious just take over while thinking about things other than the job at hand.
If you follow these steps, you can help avoid becoming another statistic.