Lawnmower Safety

Each year approximately 75,000 people are injured by lawnmowers and require emergency room medical treatment. Injuries may range from minor cuts and bruises to amputations and even death. Very few of the injuries are caused by mechanical failure. The large majority is due to human error. Take the time to educate yourself on safe lawnmower use.

Know Your Mower
Before you turn the lawnmower on, read through the operator's manual. Many people skip this step, but when your life or limbs are on the line, consider it non-negotiable. Many people make the mistake of thinking that all lawnmowers are the same, but very few are. They tend to have different safety features, and sometimes the blades are located in different places. It is essential that you understand your mower before you use it.

Also, you should never choose a mower that is too much for you to handle. Control is essential with lawnmowers -- if you lose it, you may lose more than that.

Dress Appropriately
As with most power appliances, proper clothing is essential to keeping you out of harm's way. Many people have lost toes while mowing their lawns. Steel-toe safety footwear offers the most protection against the blade, but if you don't have a pair, always wear sturdy, non-slip shoes. Never mow your lawn in sandals or while barefoot.

Long pants will help to protect your legs from objects that may be thrown from under the mower, such as small rocks and sticks. You may also want to wear hearing protection, as some mowers are quite loud.

Clear the Area
Before you begin mowing, walk around your yard looking for loose debris, rocks, sticks, toys, and trash. Pick up anything you find and dispose of it in another manner. As the blade of your lawnmower spins, it can pick up these items and fling them at you at high speeds. These items can also jam the blades, making it necessary for you to remove them, a dangerous task in itself.

Beware of the Blade
The main source of danger in a lawnmower is the blade. The blade is very sharp and it moves at high speeds. If a hand or foot gets under the mower deck while the engine is running, you are guaranteed to lose fingers and toes.

Never attempt to unclog a jammed lawnmower while the engine is running. Any time it is necessary to reach under the mower, disconnect the spark plug wire to insure that the engine cannot start for any reason. DO not skip this step -- the majority of lawnmower accidents happen to people who do just that.

On a Hill
If you have to mow on a hill, take extra caution. Travel across the slope, rather than up or down. If you push the mower downwards, you run the risk of slipping and allowing the mower to run over your feet. If you push it downwards, your foot can slip and have the same terrible consequence.

Lawn mowing is a nasty job, but someone has got to do it. Also Please take care and be aware at the times you do wow your lawn. During summer times it can get quite hot outside. Take precautions to not get a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Take care!

-- Bailey Stoler

External Links:
Heat Exhaustion First Aid Kit
First Aid and Industrial Ear protection
First Aid Electrolyte Tablets

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