Lawn Mowing Safety Tips

Lawn Mowing Safety Tips image by (PD) Lawn Mower by Flo888/Wikimedia Commons

Lawn mowers vary in size, power and means of operation, but they have one thing in common: the need for meticulous adherence to lawn mowing safety tips. Failure to abide by common sense and model specific safety advice may lead to your becoming one of the 75,000 to 200,000 Americans who are hurt each year in a lawn mowing related accident.

Prepare Your Lawn

Prior to taking the lawnmower out of the shed, prepare the area you intend to mow. Remove obvious obstructions, such as toys and lawn furniture, and also look for the obscured obstacles, like twigs and rocks. If utility service workers or contractors were recently on your property, check the lawn for nuts, bolts and bits of wire or rope/string. Remove these items to prevent damage to your mower's cutting blade. Also check for obscured gopher holes or other hidden openings in your soil. Such holes can easily trap a tire of a riding lawnmower and cause it to jerk, which---if you are going too fast---might lead to back and neck muscle injuries. If using a walking mower, such holes can lead to a variety of injuries if you step in them.

Wear Appropriate Clothes

Injuries to toes are common when mowing the lawn. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes; never wear sandals or go barefoot. Ear plugs are a good idea if you use a gasoline-powered mower; more recent electric model mowers are less noisy and generally do not require ear protection. Wear eye protection to protect your eyes from loosened rocks and other debris that the cutting blade might stir up.

Riding Lawnmower Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that from 2001 to 2003, 95 fatalities were the result of a riding mower accident. Stay safe by not allowing passengers to ride on the machine with you. Ensure that all safety devices are attached and fully operational before starting the mower. Before making a turn, reduce your speed to prevent the mower from tipping, trapping you underneath the machine. Do not allow children to operate a riding lawnmower. If your property includes sloped grassy areas, remember to only mow up and down the slopes, not across.

Child Safety Tips

Mowing the lawn is a time honored chore that parents pass down to children. Before following suit, remember the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that only children over the age of 12 should operate a walk-behind lawnmower. When they mow, children need to wear proper safety gear to protect their feet, ears and eyes from debris. Teach your child to never reach underneath the mower to unclog the machine; this is a task that only parents should undertake after power has been turned off and the blade has stopped.

Fuel Safety

Always store gas and any needed gas additives in appropriate containers. Add fuel before mowing the lawn. If you run out of gas in the middle of the job, wait for the mower to cool completely before refueling. A hot engine may cause gasoline splatters to ignite.

Keywords: Lawn Mowing Safety Tips, gardening tool, Riding Lawnmower Safety

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

Photo by: (PD) Lawn Mower by Flo888/Wikimedia Commons