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Prevent Accidents with these Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Overview


Lawn mowers help beautify neighborhoods and even allow people to make extra money mowing lawns. At the same time, however, when used incorrectly lawn mowers can cause injuries and accidents. A 2015 ABC news article states that 80,000 Americans visit the ER each year as a result of lawn mower injuries. Following these lawn mower safety tips to help you avoid accidents and injuries while mowing the lawn.

 

Topics

Read the Manual

Lawn Mower Safety Starts Before You Start the Lawn Mower

What to Wear when Operating a Lawn Mower

Only Mow under the Right Conditions

Lawn Mowers are not for Children

Tips for Mowing Slopes or Banks

Lawn Mower Safety Key

Other Lawn Mower Safety Tips

 

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Read the Manual.

Before using a lawn mower for the first time, read and understand the operating manual supplied with the machine in its entirety. Pay particular attention to the section on lawn mower safety. 

 

 

Lawn Mower Safety Starts Before You Start the Lawn Mower

While you always need to be mindful of lawn mower safety practices while mowing the lawn, there are also things you should do before mowing which will help to reduce the risk of accidents and injury:

  • Thoroughly examine the area you will be mowing. Remove all stones, sticks, wires, and other objects.
  • Check the mower’s blades and blade bolts for wear or damage. Worn blades can be sharpened or replaced. Replace damaged blades or bolts immediately. Note: Blades and bolts should be replaced in sets in order to preserve balance.
  • Inspect all mower guards, shields, and safety devices before mowing. Do not operate a lawn mower with damaged or defective parts.

 

What to Wear when Operating a Lawn Mower

Proper attire should always be worn when mowing the lawn to reduce the risk of injury.

  • Wear long pants.
  • Closed-toe footwear with a hard-toe is a must. Do not mow the lawn while barefoot or wearing sandals.
  • Wear safety goggles.

 

Only Mow under the Right Conditions

Mowing only in daylight (or good artificial light) will ensure good visibility and reduce the risk of mowing over foreign objects in the lawn. Additionally, the lawn should be dry in order to avoid slipping on wet grass.

 

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Lawn Mowers are not for Children

A lawn mower is not a toy and should not be used by children. Anyone unfamiliar with the operation of a lawn mower (including children) should not use it unless they have been given instruction on the use of a lawn mower and are being supervised by someone responsible for their safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children should not operate a walk-behind mower until they are least twelve years old.

  • Store your mower so it is not readily accessible to children. 
  • Consult the laws in your area to see if there are any age limits for lawn mower use. 
  • Do not mow your lawn when other bystanders – particularly children and pets – are standing within a 30 meter radius of the mower.
  • Make sure that children are supervised while you are using the lawn mower in order to prevent them from using it and to ensure they maintain a safe distance from the mowing area. 

 

 

Tips for Mowing Slopes or Banks

Take extra precautions when mowing slopes, banks or hillsides as they can create dangerous conditions for mowing the lawn.

  • Do not mow excessively steep slopes (greater than 15 degrees incline). 
  • Always walk when mowing banks or sloped surfaces, do not run. 
  • Be deliberate in your steps to create sure footing. 
  • Mow across the face of a slope instead of up and down a hill.
  • Use extreme caution when changing direction, especially when you are mowing on an incline.

 

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Lawn Mower Safety Key

Note: The following specifically refers to the Oregon LM300 cordless lawn mower and may not be applicable to your battery-powered lawn mower. Always consult the user manual provided with your equipment before use.

The lawn mower key is an important safety device on a battery-powered lawn mower. The motor and blades of the lawn mower can only be started when the safety key is inserted and rotated to the “On” position. Only insert the safety key when you intend to start the machine and turn the blades.

Be sure to remove the lawn mower safety key in the following scenarios:

  • Whenever you leave you lawn mower.
  • When you are storing the machine.
  • Before clearing a blockage from the lawn mower blades.
  • Before checking parts on the mower or making repairs.
  • Before cleaning the mower.
  • Prior to transporting the mower.

 

Other Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when mowing your lawn to help ensure a safe experience:

  • Walk-behind mowers are meant to be pushed. Do not pull the mower toward you when you are mowing.
  • Keep the cutting deck flat. Do not tilt the machine when starting or switching on your mower, unless your machine must be tilted in order to be able to start the machine in long grass. In this case, keep tilting to minimum amount possible and only tilt the cutting deck away from yourself.
  • If you need to pick up and carry the mower, turn it off first. If it is a battery-powered mower, be sure to remove the safety key prior to transporting.
  • Do not put your hands and feet near or under rotating parts. 
  • Stand clear of the discharge zone when operating the lawn mower. 
  • Do not modify your mower. Unauthorized modifications may result in increased noise or vibration and impair the safety of your lawn mower.
  • If you should strike a foreign object or large debris, inspect the machine for damage and make any necessary repairs.
  • If the lawn mower starts to vibrate abnormally, stop the machine immediately. Inspect the lawn mower for damage and make any necessary repairs.