The most common type of lawn maintenance that is performed by homeowners is mowing and most homeowners mow their lawn at least 2 to 3 times per month. It is as much a part of our summer rituals as anything else and because of this, people should take lawn mower safety more seriously. Mowing the lawn seems like an easy and harmless task but the blade can seriously injure or kill someone if they do not exercise proper caution. The following are some facts related to lawn mower injuries and ways to prevent lawn mower accidents.
The statistics concerning lawn mower injuries are quite staggering as these types of accidents are cited as the leading cause of major amputations in children under 10 by amputee-coalition.org. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200,000 people received treatment for injuries from lawn mowers in 2007; 16,000 of these cases involved people under the age of 19. There was also an increase of 3% in lawn mower related injuries from 2009 to 2010.
These statistics may seem like a set of faceless numbers but they represent actual people just like you who faced devastating injuries from improper use of the lawn mower. Lawn mower injuries are nasty and can change your entire life in an instant. However, many lawn mower accidents are totally preventable and are usually brought on by carelessness or poor decisions. It is up to the homeowner to operate the lawn mower responsibly and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others around them protected from potential injury.
Protect Your Children
Children are the most affected by lawnmower accidents and by taking the following actions, you can help prevent your child from suffering a lawn mower related injury.
- Do not allow children near the lawn mower even when it is not in use.
- Do not allow a child to ride with you on a riding mower.
- Children should stay indoors while you mow.
- Children should not operate a lawn mower until they are 12 years old or a riding mower until they are 16.
While protecting your children from lawn mower injuries is the top priority, you should also take the necessary actions to protect yourself. Remember, a lawn mower blade spins at 160 miles per hour so lawn mower safety should not be taken lightly.
- Pick up all debris from the lawn before mowing.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as shoes, long pants, and hearing and eye protection.
- Refuel and start the lawn mower outdoors on an even surface with no grass.
- Only an adult should adjust the blade.
- Make sure your mower has an automatic shut-off device and safety guards.
- Be aware of your surroundings including other people as you mow the lawn.
- Do not walk backwards with the lawn mower and take extra caution on slopes.
- Do not mow wet grass.
- Make sure the blades have come to a complete stop before emptying the grass catcher or crossing non-grass surfaces.
Mowing the lawn is a ritual that is part of every homeowner’s summer regimen but this repeated use of the lawn mower often causes people to downplay the potential danger of lawn mower related injuries. Every homeowner should recognize the danger that lawn mowers pose and take the right precautions to keep themselves and their children protected from serious injury. Talk to a lawn care professional such as Green T Lawn Care to learn more about proper lawn mower safety.