Mowing Safety Tips
As sure as spring turns to summer and summer to fall, your grass keeps growing right through the dog days of summer. Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe while you are mowing your lawn.
- Wear full-length pants and a shirt that will protect you from sunburn and objects thrown up by the mower. Wear shoes that fully enclose your feet and protect your ankles. Safety glasses and earplugs are recommended.
- Before starting a mower, pick up rocks, tree branches or other objects that could become lethal missiles if hit by a mower’s blades. Make a mental note of fixed objects, such as pipes, sprinkler heads, flower bed edgings, etc. that may damage your mower or become projectiles if struck.
- Inspect your mower for loose bolts or nuts and make sure blades are firmly attached. Check oil levels and fill the fuel tank using a vented gas can with a flexible spout. Never refuel a mower while the engine or exhaust port is hot.
- Mowing is not a spectator sport. Make sure children and pets are safely inside before starting to mow. Don’t let a child operate the lawn mower.
- Plan your mowing pattern to move forward as much as possible. Pulling a mower backward can result in foot injuries. If mowing an incline, mow across the incline.
- If the grass is damp, raise the cutting height and mow more slowly. Stop the engine and be sure the blade has stopped turning before cleaning a clogged discharge chute.
- If using an electric mower, establish a pattern that will avoid your tripping over the cord or cutting it with the mower. Do not use an electric mower on damp grass.
- If you have a gasoline fueled mower, store the gas in a UL Listed safety container. Fill the mower outside, using a funnel to prevent spills. Stay away from possible ignition sources and replace gas cap firmly when done. Make sure all safety guards are in place and keep the mower's blades sharp. If you hit an object or have a mower malfunction, remember to turn off the mower and disconnect the power cord before inspecting for damage.
- Keep your hands and feet away from the mower's blades. Never reach under the mower for any reason while the mower is in operation.
- Safe footwear is important, especially with walk behind mowers. Make sure your shoes provide good traction to reduce slipping. Never work barefoot or in sandals.
- Never leave the mower unattended while running and don't allow young children or inexperienced people operate the mower.