Mowing the lawn is a bothersome summer chore for many families. However, just because this boring task is common doesn’t mean it can be done carelessly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 82,000 people required emergency medical attention after being injured by lawn mowers in 2015.
A lawn mower blade can spin up to 3,000 RPMs and generate 2,100 ft lbs of kinetic energy. That’s equivalent to a 1.17-pound ball traveling at 232 mph. Lawn mowers are powerful enough to sever body parts or turn small objects into dangerous projectiles. While most lawn mower accidents can be avoided, careless handling and complacency can lead to severe injuries. These lawn mower safety tips will help you and your family stay safe while checking off the chore list this summer.
Lawn Mower Safety Tips You Should Know
1. No Children Allowed
While mowing grass can be a good first job for many young adults, it is important it isn’t allowed too early. Each year, more than 800 children are run over by riding lawn tractors, resulting in more than 600 limb amputations and 75 deaths. For children under 10, lawn mower accidents are the number one cause of limb loss. When it is time to give your child more responsibilities, be sure to review safety procedures and supervise them.
2. Read the Owner’s Manual
It is important that for any piece of equipment, you read the owner’s manual. You will find detailed explanations of the various features for your machine and how to use and care for them properly. Many owner’s manuals can be found online if you no longer have your original. Be sure you understand the care for your lawn mower and where the important controls, for instance, the self propulsion lever, may be located.
3. Wear Proper Protective Gear
Wearing adequate protection equipment can help to prevent lawn care injuries. Always wear the following when mowing your yard.
- – Closed-toe shoes
- – Long pants
- – Eye protection
- – Hearing protection
Wearing worn out or open toed shoes could increase your risk of slipping, making it more likely to get a limb caught under the mower. You should avoid wear short clothing as well to protect you against any flying debris that might shoot from under the lawn mower.
4. Clear the Lawn Area
While we are on the topic, objects flying out from under a lawn mower can travel in excess of 170 mph. At these speeds, even small items, such as gravel, can cause severe damage. Always walk the area you will be mowing prior to starting your machine. This is especially important if you have young children, who may leave toys laying around. Remove any hazards you find. This greatly reduces the likelihood that an object will be launched by the mower blade.
5. Stored Energy Can Be Dangerous
Injuries caused by stored energy are becoming more of a hazard each year. Many of today’s mowers can have energy stored in the drive-train, even if the engine is no longer running. Never attempt to clear a clogged or stalled mower by hand. There may be stored energy, which could cause the blade to spin when freed, resulting in serious injuries.
6. Watch the Terrain
Mowing on steep hillsides can be very risky, especially with a riding mower. Cutting across the slope can lead to mowers tipping over or sliding out of control. Cutting uphill is not much better as straining to push a mower can cause you to slip or fall. This increases the risk of the mower rolling onto you or a riding mower flipping backwards.
Most mowers are now equipped with an automatic shutoff lever. While this can greatly improve the chances of avoiding injury, it is important to pay attention and use safe mowing practices.
Whether you’re using a push or self-propelled mower, riding tractor or string trimmer, lawn mower safety is important. Always remember that these are powerful machines designed to cut. Failing to follow the safety procedures above and in your owner’s manual could lead to severe injury or damage. While you may have yet to have an accident, complacency with lawn mower safety could cost you. For more way to protect you and your family, just call us at 724-929-2300.