Lawn mowers are essentially high powered rotating knives on wheels, and when you realise this it’s not hard to understand that personal injuries relating to their use number in the thousands each year. So to avoid becoming a statistic you should try and stick to a few basic safety measures whenever you mow the lawn. Some key points to remember:
- As with maintaining your mower, the best people to ask when it comes to safety features on the mower itself are the manufacturers, make sure you read the manual and familiarise yourself with any safety features.
- Wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for lawn mowing. This includes adequate hearing protection either in the form of ear plugs or ear defenders, as well as long trousers to protect your legs from flying rocks and other debris. It’s also advisable to wear steel toe capped boots or shoes if you can, as this will protect your feet in the unlikely but none the less horrendous event that you run over your toes with the mower
- Turn the mower off when not in use or unattended. It sounds obvious but it’s easy to turn your back for a second only to see your self propelled mower trundling off into a ditch, or worse. Also ensure that you only put fuel in the mower when it has been off for 10 minutes, and don’t refuel when the mower is on the lawn.
- Make sure pets and pets and children are kept well away as you mow. When the mower is running you won’t be able to hear what else is going on around you so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and not just the patch of lawn in front of you. If you do feel that your child is old and sensible enough to operate the mower, ensure that you still closely supervise them.
- Take extra care on hills and embankments. Stories of ride on mowers in particular toppling and crushing the person using them are unfortunately all too common.
- Always make sure the lawn mower is completely turned off when carrying any maintenance. For example if you plan to turn it over, exposing the blade to clean away clumps of cut grass, ensure the mower is turned off. In the case of an electric mower this means turning off at the mains, for a cordless mower the safety key should be turn to the off position, and a for a petrol mower the engine should be switched off, not just left idling.