Lawn Mower – The Safety Guidelines

Although a walk behind or riding lawn mower may not be the most dangerous household power tool, it is certainly capable of causing injury and even death. A lawn mower is a machine that should be treated with respect. So long as the operator follows a simple set of safety guide lines, many serious and potentially life threatening situations can be avoided altogether.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 68,000 people receive injuries serious enough to warrant emergency room care every year from accidents related to lawn mowers. Fingers and toes are at great risk from the sharp and fast spinning blades under a mower. Objects ejected by the mower at high speeds can also cause injury to the operator of the mower and to bystanders. There are some simple safety tips, that if followed, should greatly reduce the risk of injury while operating a mower.

Before you begin mowing, prepare the lawn by walk over the lawn at least once and look for objects that could be violently ejected such as rocks, toys, dog bones, or any other hard objects. Be aware of any objects that protrude from the ground, such as pipes or large rocks. Running over these objects could either send the object flying out, or even shatter the blade itself. Objects shot out from under the mower can fly at high speeds and cause serious injury.

When you fuel the mower, be sure to clean up any excess fuel that spills outside the tank. Do not fill the tank while the motor is still hot because gas fumes can be ignited by the heat. Instead, wait until the motor is cool enough to touch before you attempt to fill the tank. Change into appropriate clothing before you begin mowing; loose or baggy clothes pose the risk of being snagged by the machine. Also, do not wear open toed shoes.

Before you begin mowing, make sure children are out of the area. If you are on a riding mower, watch closely when in reverse in order to make sure that no one steps behind the mower. Use caution and common sense on slopes – a riding mower may tip over if operated on too sharp of a slope. The operator can also fall onto a push mower, or the mower may roll backwards.

Before engaging in any maintenance on the mower, be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire. Many injuries are caused each year by motors that start unexpectedly when the operator is attempting to do some routine maintenance. Simply turning the blade may cause the motor to start so disconnecting the spark plug wire beforehand will eliminate the risk.

When shopping for a mower, especially a riding mower, insist on a mower that has the best safety features. Ask a sales representative about certain features such as roll over safety on riding mowers as well as safety mechanisms for operating in reverse.

Source by Adam Duncan

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