Lawn Care is More Than Green Grass
Your Guide to Lawn Mower Safety
Lawn care is an excellent way to make a good first impression, but the mundane task of mowing can be a major liability. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, upward of 80,000 people go to the emergency room each year as a result of lawn mowing-related injuries.
Simple steps such as taking time to clear the grass and rethinking attire can help your organization’s groundskeepers or volunteers avoid becoming a statistic. Following are a few tips to know before mowing:
Like the lawn, your mowing equipment needs TLC, too. Do you remember the last time the air filter or spark plugs were replaced on the mowing equipment? If the answer is no, it may be time to replace them because it is recommended to change them yearly. Use only U.L. listed safe containers for filling the engine with gasoline. These containers have flashback arrestors set in place. For more information on keeping your mower in good condition, check out our article 5 Keys to Lawn Mower Maintenance .
Grass can be filled with all sorts of hidden items, including toys, animals, rocks, and branches, and it’s important to scan the area before mowing. Failure to pick up these items can result in the mower throwing them 50 feet or more at speeds of 170 miles per hour across the lawn or property and possibly injuring you or damaging property. For best practice, mow up and down slopes at a slow speed, avoid sharp turns, and do not mow on wet grounds.
What to Wear
Nothing is more comfortable than sliding on a pair of flip flops in the summer, right? We agree, but just not when mowing the property. Sturdy closed-toe shoes should be worn to protect your feet. It’s also smart to wear long pants, protective eyewear and hearing protection.
Children and Lawn Mowers
Don’t mow when children are playing outside to protect them from flying objects and getting hit or run over by the mower. Children and helpers should remain 75 feet away from the mowing operations.
A typical lawn mower can reach 240 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent burns, store the mower in a safe, out-of-reach area where it can fully cool down after use. Never unclog the chute or change the wheel height while the mower is running.
P.S. - With volunteers or members of your organization lending a helping hand, it may be time to double-check your insurance policy to ensure that you’re covered in the event of an accident. More questions? We can help. Talk to a GuideOne Agent today.
© 2019 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.