Riding Lawn Mower Safety


Accidents happen. Even when performing a seemingly harmless job like mowing the lawn, a potential incident is around each turn. Riding lawn mower safety is something each operator must take seriously. Not only is the safety and health of the user important, the safety of others in the area is a priority.

Know the Machine

In order to operate a riding lawn mower safely, the operator must first become familiar with the controls and safety features the machine employs. A clear understanding of parking brake operation, proper mowing speeds, how and when to engage and disengage the mower blades, will ensure a worry-free day of mowing.

Keep Bystanders Away

Never allow pets or people to wonder within 75 feet of the mowing area. Debris is easily kicked up by the mower blades and will cause serious harm to others. If bystanders approach, stop the mower blades immediately and park the mower.

Grass Chutes and Baggers

Never operate the mower with either the grass catcher or bagger properly installed. The blades operate at a very high velocity. The catcher or bagger direct grass cuttings away from the operator before discharging it.

Pre-use Walkaround

Walk through the mowing area before operating the riding mower. Pick up loose sticks, rocks, wire, toys and other debris that the mower may run over.


Plan the route and direction before mowing. Operate the mower in such a way to prevent the discharge chute from blowing cuttings in the direction of the road, house or bystanders.

Mowing on Hills

Never operate the riding mower on an incline greater than 15 degrees longways. When mowing a hill or incline, drive the mower straight up or down the slope versus along its length. This greatly reduces the chance for the mower to roll over.

Keep Clear of Blades

Always keep hands and feet clear of turning mower blades. Never reach under the mower deck while the mower is running. Even if disengaged, the blades may rotate while the engine is running. If service or maintenance must be performed on or under the mower deck, wear heavy gloves and visually verify the blades are stopped.

Keywords: riding mower safety, mower safety precautions, operating mower safely

About this Author

Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.