A lawn mower is a common piece of household equipment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about safety while using one. A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicates that each year, nearly 80,000 Americans require hospital treatment for injuries caused by lawn mowers. Following some basic safety tips can help you avoid becoming one of those 80,000!
Before you start…
- Check your lawn. Take a quick walk around your lawn. Pick up debris such as rocks, sticks, toys, etc. The spinning blades can throw these objects at high speeds turning them into dangerous missiles.
- Check your mower. Make sure guards and shields are in place. Use a mulching plug. Not only does it help prevent objects from being thrown by the mower, the mulched clippings decompose faster, helping return nutrients to the lawn.
- Start with a full tank of gas. This way you don’t have to refuel a hot engine.
- Always fuel the mower outside. Gasoline vapors are highly flammable and can easily be ignited by a source of ignition such as a water heater, furnace, etc.
- Prepare yourself. Wear proper clothing. Don’t wear loose clothing that could get caught in moving chains or belts. Tie back long hair. Wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget personal protective equipment including safety glasses and hearing protection.
While you’re mowing…
- Do not allow children in the area you are mowing. Thrown objects can cause serious injury.
- If you need to refuel, let the engine cool down before refueling.
- Never reach under the mower deck to clear the blades with the mower running. Always disengage the blades and shut off the mower.
- Remember, a lawn mower is not a toy. Don’t let children ride on the mower while you are mowing. Not only can they distract you from the job at hand, if they fall they could be seriously injured.
These are just a few safety tips that can help keep our families, our friends, and ourselves safe. What other tips do you have to share?