Working in the yard is a normal part of summer. Some view this as a chore and others may enjoy the time to work outside.
As with any task involving tools and sharp objects, there is an element of safety that needs consideration. Keep your grass looking fresh and green this year while also avoiding injuries.
Lawn mower safety tips
Learning to use a lawn mower correctly is an important step to preventing mishaps.
Lawn mowers are surprisingly powerful. The blades are sharp and when rotating, produce a lot of power and energy. Combine that with the contaminants that cover the blades, injuries caused by contact are at high risk of infection.
Before working with your lawn mower, read the manual and become familiar with its operation and features. The manufacturer may have links to online videos. Watching these can help you to understand how to operate the mower and how to use all the features.
Once you have read the manual and watched any operating videos, use this lawn mower safety checklist each time you mow:
- Avoiding removing shields and other safety measures. These are in place for a reason and the manufacturer has tested these to protect consumers. Be sure you understand the safety features, how to use them and what not to do.
- Walk through your yard to check for debris that could be dangerous. Stones and twigs can become projectiles when forced through the mower’s engine. Some mowers have bags to prevent this, but it is still smart to check for these potential hazards.
- Wear the proper gear. Never mow in open-toe shoes. Wear protective lenses and safety gloves. This prevents damage to the eyes and burns on your hands. Parts of the mower will be hot enough to burn the skin. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat to protect your skin from sunburn.
- Make sure kids and pets stay out of the area you are mowing. Keeping them inside while you mow is the safest choice.
- If the mower jams, don’t place your fingers inside the unit. The blades could continue to move after shutting off. Refer to the manual for steps to clear jams and wait until the unit has cooled off and been out of use for the suggested period of time.
- Avoid mowing when the grass is wet. This doesn’t produce the best results and wet grass can be slippery.
- If a storm comes, stop mowing and wait until the storm is cleared. Then also make sure the grass has dried before continuing.
- Be extra careful on uneven areas. There is the risk of falling under the mower on hills and slopes. If your yard has steep areas, it is best to mow side to side.