Did you know about 25,000 Americans are injured each year from lawn mowers? Before you start your mower up for the season, you can protect yourself and others by reviewing the lawn mower safety tips below.
Common Causes of Lawn Mower Injuries
Gas-powered or electric, push mower or riding mower, lawn mowers are powerful machines that can cause serious injuries. The blades on a lawn mower can spin about 3,000 revolutions a minute. The blades spinning action can cause serious cuts, broken bones, and even amputation, especially if you were to stick your hand or foot into the blade area while it’s running. If a small child were running and slipped near a running lawn mower, the spinning blades could possibly amputate a leg or arm.
Also, the spinning blades can propel rocks, sticks, and other small objects from the machine. These flying projectiles can cause serious cuts and bruises to you, others, and pets. Flying debris can cause serious eye injuries, too.
Additionally, a lawn mower engine and muffler can reach temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit or more, causing serious burns if touched.
Therefore, you should protect yourself and those around you when using lawn mowers by following lawn mower safety precautions when operating your machine.
Lawn Mower Safety Tips to Protect Yourself
Keep yourself safe when mowing by:
- Dress appropriately while using a lawn mower. To prevent injuries from thrown objects, wear a close-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Wear sturdy shoes or work boots with slip-resistant rubber soles to avoid slipping while mowing. Don’t wear tennis shoes or sandals. Put on safety glasses to prevent eye injuries. Slip hearing protection over or in your ears to protect against hearing loss. Put on heavy gloves when changing, sharpening or cleaning the blades.
- Always use a push mower with a release mechanism on the handle. The push mower will automatically shut off when the handle is let go. Therefore, your lawn mower can’t lurch forward automatically and accidentally cause an injury.
- Make sure all safety devices are functioning properly before use. Never disconnect them.
- Start and refuel mowers outside. Never start or refuel a mower indoors, in case a fire were to break out. Carefully handle gasoline. Never refuel the mower when the motor is on or still hot.
- Never smoke around gasoline or gas-powered mowers. A stray spark can cause a fire to start.
- Never mow a wet lawn. You could easily slip on the wet grass and possibly injure yourself.
- Mow across slopes with a push mower. Never mow up and down with a push mower to prevent potential slips. However, mow up and down slopes on a riding mower. Never mow across on a riding mower. The machine could tip over and fall on top of you.
- Never pull a push mower backwards. Disengage the blade when backing up on a riding mower. Your visibility is compromised when mowing in reverse. You could easily run into another person or an object. Also, you might pull the lawn mower over your foot, causing an injury.
- Use caution when mowing around corners, shrubs and trees.
- Pick up sticks, stones, toys, and other objects before mowing to prevent injuries and keep from damaging the mower.
- Attach a collection bag or a protection plate over the opening where grass comes out to prevent projectile injuries.
- Turn off the mower and remove or disconnect the spark plug before adjusting the blade settings or removing debris. Make sure all adjustments and debris removal are done by an adult.
Lawn Mower Safety Tips to Protect Others
Follow these safety tips to keep children, other adults, and even pets safe while your mowing:
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of power mowers.
- Be aware of the age limits for lawn mower use. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of 12 should never use a push mower. Teenagers should be at least 16 years old to operate a riding mower. Always supervise your kids while they’re mowing the yard.
- Keep children indoors and away from the lawn when you’re mowing. Supervise children to keep them from running outside.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If a child comes into the yard, turn off the mower.
- Never let a child (especially small children) ride on a riding mower, even if they’re supervised. Children can easily slip and fall off the mower and become injured by the blades. Don’t give kids the wrong message that riding mowers are fun.
Take Lawn Mower Safety Seriously
Remember, lawn mower injuries are easily preventable, especially if you follow these lawn mower safety tips. Hopefully, you, or someone you know, will never experience a serious injury due to a lawn mower. However if you do, visit your doctor or your hospital’s emergency room as soon as possible, depending upon the severity of the injury.
ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics Provide Your Feet with a Proper Foundation
While custom orthotics, like ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, can’t prevent serious injuries due to lawn mower accidents, they can provide your feet with a proper foundation while you work. Our custom orthotics guide your feet into a better biomechanical gait with each step you take. Plus they help relieve foot fatigue after being on your feet while working in your yard.
ezWalker® custom orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ in length, so they easily will fit into any work shoe you’re wearing. And, you can wear them in your other shoes when you’re not mowing. Plus, they’ll safeguard your feet against common foot problems like plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains when walking on uneven terrain. Order your pair of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics today! Or visit the WalkEZStore for more information. And schedule an appointment with Kathy Carandang, a certified podorthist, who knows how to take care of your feet!
Because … when you feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.