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Lawnmower Safety Tips

Lawnmower Safety Tips

Summer is in full swing, and if you’re like us, that means yard work. There seems to be a lawnmower in every yard during they summer, and they become commonplace and easy to take for granted. Not surprising, since the average lawn needs to be mowed about 30 times over the course of the summer.

Mowing the lawn (or at least helping to do so) is a rite of passage for many kids. It is vital to remember that caution should be exercised when handing over the mowing duties.

Did you know?

  • Each year, 800 children are run over by riding lawn mowers.
  • Of those, over 600 resulted in amputation.
  • For kids under the age of 10, major limb loss is commonly caused by lawn mowers.

As you can see, even though mowing the lawn seems like a relatively easy task, there are several risks that make it dangerous, and even deadly.  An estimated 20,000 people are injured every year while mowing the lawn; 75 people die of those injuries, and every one in five of those deaths involve a child.

What to do

Here are some tips you keep you and your kids safe this summer.

Keep children under 12 away from the mowing area at all times.

Accidents happen when giving “rides” to children on riding lawnmowers. Never allow a child on the mower. Remember, these are powerful tools, not toys. Unsupervised children can run to the operator of the lawnmower, who has no idea that the child is behind or beside them, so children under the age of 12 should be supervised indoors by another adult when mowing it taking place.

Wear appropriate clothing

Wearing flip-flops and shorts is certainly a comfortable way to mow. However, it isn’t safe. Lawnmower blades will chop a flip-flop into shreds in just a moment, and your foot along with it. Long pants and hard-toed shoes should always be worn when mowing. Long pants provide protection from projectile debris and burns from accidental contact with the engine.

Avoid heat and potential for fire

It is easy to burn yourself on lawnmowers, or even start a fire. A lawnmower’s engine block can reach over 200 degrees (F), and lawnmower exhaust can reach up to 250 degrees. For this reason, never refill the lawnmower with gas until it has cooled down completely. Also, a hot mower should never be stored near a gas can. Leave your mower outside until it has cooled completely, then you can move it to the garage or shed–away from gas cans.

Beware flying particles and debris

Always wear proper PPE. That includes protective eye wear, in addition to the shoes and long pants we’ve already discussed. The blades of a lawnmower can project small objects like loose gravel or rocks at speeds up to 200 mph.

Clear the yard of debris before mowing

Check the yard for objects such as tools, twigs/sticks, stones, and toys. Remove anything that could be picked up and thrown the the mower blades. Not only does this protect you, it prevents wear and tear on the blades.

Use safety guards

Protective guards, shields, the grass catcher, and all other types of safety equipment should always be placed properly on the mower. Never use you finger or hand to clean grass from the blades, even when the mower is off. Use a stick, instead.  Finally, have your mower inspected every year to make sure it is in good working condition.

For more safety training, visit Hard Hat Training.

Good luck, and stay safe!