Many individuals take great pride in a well-groomed lawn. However, the power mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. More than 70,000 individuals each year are treated in emergency rooms for lawnmower related injuries. Proper safety precautions need to be observed to ensure that lawn maintenance is a safe activity:
• Prepare your lawn before mowing by removing debris (sticks, rocks, etc.) from the area to be mowed.
• Fill the gas tank outside when the engine is cool and only use approved containers equipped with spill proof nozzles. Never fill a hot engine and never remove a gasoline cap with the engine running.
• Store fuel outside of the house and away from any heat source.
• Know your mower; how it operates and note all safety warnings.
• Always wear protective eyewear and ear protection.
• Wear heavy, steel toe boots for foot protection.
• Never remove safety devices or guards on switches.
• Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to completely stop before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge or crossing gravel paths or roads.
• The mower discharge should never be turned in the direction of people, pets, homes, streets or automobiles.
• Never wear anything that can be caught in the mower such as loose clothing or jewelry and always tie back long hair.
• Disconnect the spark plug wire before adjusting, cleaning or repairing the mower.
• If using an electric mower always inspect it for frayed or cut wiring.
• Power mowers can be dangerous on slopes. Push a walk-behind mower across slopes; drive a riding mower up and down slopes.
• Do not adjust height of cut while a mower is running.
• Always keep hands and feet away from the cutting unit.
• Never let children operate a lawn mower or ride along on a riding mower.
• Never leave a mower running unattended.
• Do not cut grass when it is wet or the ground is damp.
• Do not operate a mower while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Following these basic measures can help make your spring & summer safe and enjoyable.