Lawn mowers are powerful machines. Accidents involving them are still commonplace in this day and age.
It’s possible to get seriously injured when using them, or cause injury to others.
So it’s vital you know how to stay safe when operating this tool.
The following is a useful 10-step checklist to remember before and while you are mowing.
It will help you and others be safer during the operation of a lawn mower, whether you use the push or riding variety.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not necessarily cover all aspects of lawn mower safety.
- Visualise the area of lawn on which you’ll mow and ensure that it’s clear of any obstacles like heavy debris, toys or other garden tools. This will prevent accidents and save time.
- Make sure you wear suitable attire for mowing. That means tough shoes (not sandals or other footwear that leaves your toes exposed), and well-fitting (as opposed to loose-footing) clothes. Long pants can protect your legs from debris that flies loose. Also remove any jewelry that could get in the way.
- Have you properly read your lawn mower’s instruction manual? If not, please do as there may be vital safety tips specific to your lawn mower model that you need to know about.
- Never leave your mower running unnecessarily. Turn it off if you plan to leave it unattended or you’re moving it over non-grassy areas.
- Some gas-run mowers can be very loud. Ear defenders or ear-plugs may be necessary to protect your hearing.
- Ensure any children and pets are safely indoors while you mow. Do not let children operate a mower or accompany you during mowing. All outdoor power tools should be respected, especially one with the sharp cutting blades of a mower.
- During mowing, if using a push mower, be extra careful if at some point you have to walk backwards. Always ensure there is a good distance between the mower and your feet.
- If your blades become clogged during mowing, turn off the machine using the kill switch and only investigate the blades with a stick or garden tool. NEVER use your hands, as you could cut yourself. If the problem remains, it is best to stop mowing and take the machine to an expert for examination.
- When handling something potentially as dangerous as a mower, it’s important to concentrate at all times. This can be difficult to do on a hot day, so make sure you take regular water breaks if you are at risk of dehydration.
- A safety tip for your lawn: be careful when fuelling your gas or riding mower. Ensure the mower is switched off and has had some time to cool down before you refuel. Never refuel while your mower is on the lawn, as any spills could severely damage the soil and grass.