How to Avoid Hurting Yourself and Others with a Lawn Mower

Mowing the lawn is a mundane and common-place task, but a lawn mower is one of the most dangerous household tools. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 250,000 people were treated for lawn mower injuries in 2010. Lawn mower injuries can be very serious, including amputations, vision loss, and severe burns. Sometimes, lawn mower injuries are fatal. Some basic precautions can help you avoiding hurting yourself or someone else with a lawn mower.

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Before you mow:

  • Walk the area before you mow, removing any small rocks, twigs, toys, nails, and other items that can become projectiles when hit by your lawn mower blades.
  • Read the instruction manual.
  • Inspect your lawn mower to make sure that it is in good working condition and all safety devices and equipment are in place.
  • Make sure all children and pets are inside or well away from the mowing area.

While you mow:

  • Where the proper clothing and safety gear including protective goggles, hearing protection, closed-toe shoes, and close-fitting clothing.
  • Be very cautious on slopes. A push mower should used across the slope while a riding mower should go up and down the slope.
  • If you must clear debris from the blades, turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely. Use a broom handle or stick to clear the blades, never your hands or feet.
  • Never walk away from the mower while it is running.
  • Always turn off the engine and wait for it to cool off before refueling.
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