Riding lawn mowers are essential for large lawn maintenance. In addition to mowing, these machines often accept attachments to perform other yard-maintenance duties, such as snow removal. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 30,000 injuries and just under 100 fatalities related to riding lawnmowers occur each year.
Ensure the riding lawn mower meets the government safety standard ANSI B71.1-2003. This safety standard ensures that the mower will stop if the operator is no longer on the mower, the seat back is at least 4.5 inches high, turn and traction performance has been limited to increase stability and that the blades do not operate when the mower is in reverse.
Following safe operating practices ensures your safety while maintaining the lawn with a riding lawnmower. Reading the manual, keeping hands and feet away from moving parts of the machine, clearing the yard of obstacles, operating in daylight, wearing eye protection and keeping bystanders away from the machine will keep your mowing experience a safe one. In addition, mowing up and down slopes instead of across slopes and keeping children away from the mower are also safe practices.
Proper maintenance will also increase the likelihood of a safe riding mower experience. Always handle gasoline properly, keeping cigarettes and other sources of ignition away, using proper containers, fueling when the mower is cool, and properly closing gas caps. Make sure the mower is properly cared for by keeping all hardware tight, making sure safety devices are working, keeping the machine free of debris and turning the machine off before servicing.