Every year many people get injured when using lawn mowers to cut their grass. Lawn mowers can be dangerous even when used properly. Put your thinking cap on and follow these safety tips to avoid injuries:
- Know the equipment you are using. Read the whole owner’s manual from front to back. Become familiar with all of the safety features and don’t disconnect or remove any of them. Keep all nuts and bolts properly tightened. Never pull a walking mower.
- Check the lawn before mowing and wear proper clothing. Pick up any rocks or debris. Heavy shoes and long pants provide the best protection from flying debris. Wear safety glasses and protect your skin from the sun.
- Protect your hearing. Doing yard work can get pretty noisy. In addition to the lawn mower, high-decibel noise comes from trimmers, edgers, and blowers. Use earplugs or earmuff-type hearing protection.
- Keep pets and children away from the lawn mower as you mow. Don’t let children operate a lawn mower unless they’re strong enough, responsible, and understand all the operating and safety features. Even then, supervise them. Never give a young child a ride on a ride-on mower. Sudden stops, flying objects, or an excited child can spell disaster.
- Be careful when fueling. Stop the mower and let the engine cool for 10 minutes before fueling. Never fill the tank with the mower on the lawn. Avoid spills by using a gas can with an adequate pouring spout. Clean up spills immediately and put the used rags in a covered metal can. (Gasoline-soaked rags are a fire hazard.)
- Turn off the mower. Never leave the mower running unattended, or work on a motor that is running. Turn off the power when you cross nongrass areas.
- Be careful on hills. Steep slopes are always dangerous because a mower can flip over or go out of control. Plant a ground cover other than turf in these areas. On gentle slopes, mow across the slope, not up and down. Use a walk-behind mower.