As well as being incredible timesaving tools for truly making over and maintaining gardens, lawnmowers are not a force to be reckoned with. As extremely powerful machines, it’s important to take the right precautions when handling your lawn mower. By abiding by the following top lawnmower safety tips and reading each model’s instruction manual, you can ensure you benefit from a healthy lawn in the right way to avoid sustaining any injuries.
Using lawnmowers safely
There are obviously many ways in which an operator can encounter trouble with a lawnmower. The main risk is falling off a lawn mower and riding over or falling on a user, with ride on lawnmowers a particular hazard. Lawnmower operators also need to be careful of those around them, ensuring any bystanders are kept well out of harm’s way.
Children specifically need to be educated on staying away from lawnmowers and to be looked after around lawnmowing operation. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in Australia alone, there have been hundreds of lawnmowing injuries sustained. At least eight people have passed away due to lawnmowing related incidents. Injuries can vary from relatively minor cuts and burns to more serious amputations and broken bones.
Top 10 Lawnmower safety tips
In order to avoid sustaining any injuries while operating a lawnmower, it’s important to follow some essential lawnmower safety tips. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand pulled together five top tips for keeping safe, we have expand on this below.
- Never use hands to dislodge debris from a lawnmower – always use a tool once the lawnmower has been switched off and unplugged.
- Don’t lift a lawnmower from the bottom – even when then machinery is unplugged, due to the sharp blades at the bottom of the machine.
- Never cut the grass with a lawnmower when the ground is damp or wet. This is to avoid any slippage, instability, or potential mechanical faults.
- Read the lawnmower manual before using it. This will ensure you know exactly how to operate the machinery.
- Never remove any safety guards or switches on your lawnmower. These are there for safety and to avoid any casualties during usage.
- Don’t have more than one person operate a ride on lawnmower at any time to prevent any incidents from occurring.
- Ensure regular maintenance of your lawn mower, including keeping blades sharp. This is to avoid any faults and to encourage stability of the machine.
- Never drink alcohol prior to or during lawnmower operation.
- Always wear the right equipment for lawn mowing, including appropriate footwear, gloves, and goggles for body protection.
- Never allow children near a lawnmower, particularly during its operation.
Additional lawnmower safety tips
There are some additional pointers to help ensure safety when operating or choosing a lawnmower.
- Purchasing your lawnmower: always ensure it complies with Australian Standard AS3792.1. If you’re choosing a ride-on lawnmower, make sure the blades don’t cut when the lawnmower is reversing for additional safety. All lawnmowers should be brought from verified dealers and they should work according to the accompanying manual. If it’s a second hand lawnmower, it’s always worth getting it looked over by a verified dealer.
- Operating ride-on lawnmowers: first and foremost, anyone using a ride-on lawnmower must be suitably trained to use such powerful equipment prior to use. Any debris should be removed from the surrounding areas of the lawnmower before usage, and it should be operated slowly with caution. Feet should always be kept on the lawnmower’s decking, and it’s imperative to check around you before reversing or steering in any direction. Slopes should be moved across vertically and not horizontally, and the blades should be completely switched off before descending the machinery.
- Lawn mowing around children: children should be kept away from lawnmowers indefinitely, and monitored during operation or when the machine is left running. As an additional precaution method, the key to the lawnmower should be safely stowed after use.
When used correctly, lawnmowers are excellent tools. By following the tips above, you should encourage safety during operation at all times by taking the necessary procedures.