Mower Safety 101
I think we can all agree that a well-manicured lawn is attractive. Personally, I find much satisfaction and pride in my own freshly mowed yard. Seeing as mowing is a recurring task, it can become very routine. We can become comfortable with the process, going through the motions without much thought. Here is a friendly reminder of some precautions we should all take when mowing.
- Kids: Children should be kept inside when a mower is in use. (Experts recommends no one under the age of 12 should operate a push mower, and no one under the age of 16 should operate a riding lawn mower.) Unforeseen objects can be run over and launched, which could cause unexpected injury. Mowers can be loud, which could cause hearing damage without proper ear protection, and it can be hard to hear those around you in the event that a child is getting too close. Finally, riding lawn mowers are not designed for more than one rider – especially if the blades are running!
- Pick Up Ahead of Time: Take a stroll around your property before firing up the mower. Stones, branches, and toys (dog and kid toys alike) can quickly become ‘missiles’ launched at the house or the car!
- Proper Shoes: Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes to minimized mishaps of getting on and off the mower. Bare skin on hot or moving parts doesn’t feel great either.
- Ear Protection: Wear it. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Keep Moving Forward: Pulling a push-mower toward you can quickly become dangerous if you slip or trip in the process.
- Be Aware of Surroundings: Be sure to disengage the blades when crossing over gravel driveways. Be courteous to drivers when mowing near roadways by pausing to avoid a ‘missile’ being launched into a car. Also remember to blow your grass clippings into your yard, not on the roadway – motorcyclists will thank you.
- Take the Key: A key left in the ignition of a mower is an invitation for theft, but it also could result in an accident for those curious kids to jump on the mower and start it up.
- Hills: Makes sense to save some energy by mowing hills with a riding lawn mower, right? Not Always. Riding mowers can easily tip when mowing across a hillside. Be mindful of how steep the hill is and what direction you will have the best footing before selecting the type of mower to utilize.
- Respect the Blades: Anytime the blades are running, keep your hands and feet clear! If you are working on replacing blades, pull the spark plugs to avoid a mishap. Mow dry grass to minimize grass clumps needing cleared from the mower.
- Maintenance: As with any piece of equipment or machinery, preventative maintenance is best to keep it in well-working order and stay safe when operating!
Always remember, your mower’s manual is a great resource for troubleshooting and maintenance care. Mow safely this summer!