Lawn Mower Safety Types, Hazards, and Control Measures

Lawn Mower Safety: Types, Hazards, and Control Measures

Lawn mowing is a necessary chore for homeowners in the United States. Each year, there are thousands of accidents involving lawn mowers. Many of these accidents could be prevented by following some simple safety tips. This blog post will discuss the different types of lawn mowers, their hazards, and control measures that can help keep you safe while mowing your lawn.

Lawn Mower

A lawn mower is a machine that uses one or more revolving blades to cut grass surfaces to an even height. The height of the cut grass may be fixed by the mower’s design but is usually adjustable by the operator, who controls the rate at which the grass is cut. Lawn mowers are typically used for residential landscaping or for maintaining large grounds such as golf courses and parks.

Lawn mowers work by using one or more spinning blades to cut the grass down to a uniform height. The blades are usually powered by an internal combustion engine, although some models may be electric-powered. The blades’ cutting action severs the grass at the base of the blade, causing it to fall away from the rest of the lawn.

Lawn mowers are essential equipment found in many homes with a yard in the United States. They enable homeowners and groundskeepers to comply with municipality codes and maintain neat and good-looking lawns by cutting down grass. Many children and teenagers also earn extra money by mowing lawns during the grass-growing season. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a lawn mower can be extremely dangerous if not operated properly. In 2010, more than 250,000 people treated for lawn mower-related injuries. Lawn mower injuries went up 3% in 2010 compared to 2009. Unfortunately, 40% of these injury cases were serious enough to require treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Furthermore, nearly 10,000 of those injured were children with a mean age between 5-10 years. Each year more than 600 children undergo amputations as the result of lawn mower-related injuries.

Types Of Lawn Mowers

Lawn mowers are classified into four categories: manual lawn mowers, motorized lawn mowers, electric lawn mowers, and other types of lawn mowers such as robotic and hover lawn mowers.

1. Manual Lawn Mowers

Manual lawn mowers are the most basic type of mower. They have no engine or motor, so they require you to push them around your lawn. Manual lawn mowers can be a great option if you have a small lawn and don’t mind doing a little extra work. They’re also usually much less expensive than powered lawn mowers.

One advantage of manual lawn mowers is that they’re very environmentally friendly. Since they don’t have an engine or motor, they don’t produce emissions. They’re also much quieter than powered lawn mowers, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors when using one.

Another advantage of manual lawn mowers is that they’re very easy to maintain. There are no engine parts to worry about, so you won’t have to do any tune-ups or other maintenance tasks. All you’ll need to do is keep the blades sharp and clean, and you should be good to go.

The main downside of manual lawn mowers is that they can be a bit of a workout. If you have a large lawn, pushing a manual mower around can take quite a bit of effort. And if your lawn is hilly, it can be even more of a challenge.

A manual mower is an excellent option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly, easy-to-maintain lawn mower. Just be prepared for a little extra work if you have a large lawn.

2. Motorized Lawn Mowers

Motorized lawn mowers are powered by gasoline or electricity and are more powerful than manual mowers. They can cover larger areas of ground more quickly, making them a convenient option for people with large yards.

A motorized lawn mower can be convenient if you have a large lawn. However, they are more expensive than manual mowers and produce emissions that can harm the environment. They are also quite loud, so you’ll need to be careful not to disturb your neighbors when using them.

3. Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric lawn mowers are powered by a battery or an extension cord connected to an outlet. They are quieter than gas-powered mowers and produce no emissions.

There are two main types of electric lawn mowers: corded and cordless. Corded electric lawn mowers must be plugged into an outlet, while cordless lawn mowers run on batteries.

Electric lawn mowers have a number of advantages over gas-powered mowers. They are much quieter, so you won’t disturb your neighbors while mowing the lawn. They also produce no emissions, so they’re better for the environment. Electric lawn mowers are usually lighter and easier to maneuver than gas-powered ones.

The main disadvantage of electric lawn mowers is that they need to be plugged in or have their batteries charged, which can be inconvenient. They also may not have enough power to tackle very large yards.

4. Robotic And Hover Mowers

Robotic and hover mowers are the newest lawn mowers on the market. They are battery-powered and self-propelled. They are best suited for large yards with complex terrain. Robotic mowers are programmed to mow in a specific pattern and can be set to run at certain times of the day or night. They return to their charging station when they’re finished mowing.

Hover mowers are similar to robotic mowers but don’t have wheels. Instead, they hover above the ground on a cushion of air. This allows them to maneuver around obstacles more easily.

Robotic and hover mowers have a number of advantages over traditional mowers. They are very quiet and produce no emissions. They are also very easy to maintain since there are no engine parts to worry about. And they can be programmed to run at specific times, so you don’t have to be home to operate them.

The main disadvantages of robotic and hover mowers are their high price tags and their unsuitable for very large yards.

Lawn Mower Safety Hazards and Control Measures

Lawn Mower Hazards to Watch Out For

  • Contact with rotating blade: Injury often occurs when the victim cleans the discharge chute of grass clippings or places a foot too close to the mower deck when performing other maintenance while the engine is still running.
  • Propelled objects: Rocks, glass, or wire are picked up by the blades and hurled at speeds above 170 miles per hour. Objects may be thrown for distances up to 50 feet or more, causing death and injuries ranging from blindness to severe bruising. 
  • Hot engine parts: Your lawn mower’s engine can get extremely hot, and if you’re not careful, you can easily burn yourself. Always wear gloves when handling hot engine parts, and be mindful of where your hands are at all times.
  • Gasoline: Gasoline is highly flammable, and if you’re not careful, it can easily cause a fire. Always handle gasoline responsibly, and never store it near any heat sources.
  • Oil: Like gasoline, oil is also highly flammable, and if you’re not careful, it can easily cause a fire. Always handle oil carefully, and never store it near any heat sources.
  • Electrical cords: If you’re using an electric lawn mower, keep the cord away from any hot engine parts, as this could easily cause a fire. Also, be careful not to trip over the cord, as this could pull the mower down on top of you.
  • The sun: Mowing the lawn can be hard work, and you can easily get overheated if you’re not careful. Always be sure to drink plenty of water, and take breaks often if you start to feel too hot.
  • Allergens: Mowing the lawn can be a nightmare if you’re allergic to pollen or grass. Wear a mask and gloves if you know you’re working with potentially allergenic materials.
  • Insects: Bees, wasps, and other insects can be attracted to the noise and vibration of a lawn mower, and they can sting or bite if they feel threatened. Always look for insects, and keep your mower away from their nests.
  • Children and pets: Children and pets can be easily injured by a lawn mower, so always be sure to keep them away from the area while you’re working. If they must be in the same area, ensure they’re supervised at all times.

Lawn Mower Accident Prevention Techniques

What can be done to prevent lawn mower accidents? The following practices will prevent most accidents:  

1. Read The Entire Operatorʼs Manual

Before using a lawn mower, it is important to read the instruction manual carefully. The manual will explain the different safety procedures that should be followed when using the lawn mower. It is important to follow these procedures carefully to avoid injury. Additionally, the manual will also provide helpful tips on how to operate the lawn mower. By following the instructions in the manual, you can ensure that you will be able to use the lawn mower safely and effectively.

2. Train Operator

The operator of a lawn mower must understand how it works and can use it safely. Always demonstrate how to use the lawn mower safely before letting anyone operate it. Watch the operator closely until you are satisfied that they can handle the lawn mower without any problems.

3. Check Your Lawn Before Mowing

Before you mow your lawn, take a few minutes to clear away any sticks, stones, toys, bones, or other objects. This will help prevent damage to your lawn mower and keep your lawn looking its best.

If you find any particularly large or tough objects, you may need to remove them with a shovel or rake. Be careful not to damage your lawn in the process. Once you’ve cleared the area, you’re ready to mow!

4. Check Guards And Shields

Before starting your lawn mower, it’s important to check that all of the guards and shields are securely in place. These safety devices are designed specifically to protect you from injury, so it’s crucial that they’re properly installed and functioning properly. By taking a few moments to check the guards and shields before mowing, you can help prevent serious accidents.

5. Dress Properly To Do The Job Safely

When using a lawn mower, it is important to dress properly in order to do the job safely. This means wearing sturdy shoes, preferably steel-toed safety shoes. NO bare feet are allowed, and neither are sandals or sneakers. If you are not wearing the proper footwear, you could be seriously injured if the lawn mower kicks up a rock or other object. So please, take the time to dress properly before using a lawn mower. Your safety depends on it.

6. Handle Gasoline With Care

If you’re running low on gas, it’s best to fill up your tank before you run out completely. However, if you need to fill up while you’re still mowing, make sure to turn the mower off first. Let it cool for a few minutes so the gas doesn’t vaporize and cause an explosion. Then, fill up the tank outdoors and be careful not to spill any gas. Wipe up any spills immediately.

7. Keep All Persons And Pets Away From Mowing Area

It is important to keep all persons and pets away from the mowing area while the blade operates. A mower blade can pick up and throw objects with force sufficient to seriously injure or kill. You can avoid potential accidents and injuries by keeping people and animals out of the area.

8. No Riders On Riding Mowers

Most riding mowers are not designed to carry extra riders. This can be dangerous for both the rider and the mower operator. Extra riders can be thrown from the mower and run over. They can also distract the operator, increasing the possibility of mistakes.

For these reasons, it is always best to say “no” to small children who ask to ride the mower with you. Keep them safe by keeping them off the mower.

9. No Horseplay Around Lawn Mowers

Playing with a lawn mower is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. Use a mower only for its intended purpose – to cut grass. Do not allow children or anyone else to play with the mower, as this could result in an accident. Keep your hands and feet away from the blades, and never try to remove debris while the mower is running.

Lawn Mower Types and Hazards

10. Do Not Use Riding Mowers On Steep Slopes

Operating a riding mower on a steep slope is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or even death. If you must mow a steep slope, always drive up and down the slope, never across it. And when using a walk-behind mower, be sure to mow across the slope, not up and down it. By following these simple safety tips, you can help prevent a tragedy from occurring.

11. Take Care Of Your Mower

The operator presence switch should stop the mower immediately when you release the control. Clean and safety-check your mower during the mowing season. If you have any doubts on how to adjust or repair your mower or sharpen your mower blade, see an expert. An annual inspection by an experienced service person is always a good idea.

12. Store Fuel In A Safe Place

It is important to store gasoline in a safe place, away from any heat source. Gasoline is a volatile, flammable liquid that can be dangerous if improperly handled. Keep gasoline in a secure location, such as a garage or shed, and remind everyone in the household to handle it with care.

13. Use Earplugs To Preserve Your Hearing

If you enjoy working in the yard and using lawn mowers, it’s important to take steps to protect your hearing. The loud noise generated by lawn mowers can cause damage to your hearing over time, so it’s important to use earplugs or other forms of hearing protection when operating them.

A variety of earplugs are available on the market, so it’s important to choose a pair that will be comfortable for you to wear while working. You may also want to consider using earmuffs in addition to earplugs, as this can provide even more protection from the noise.

14. Never Bypass Safety Features

As a lawn mower operator, it is important to always follow safety protocol. One key safety feature is the operator-presence safety stop. This feature is designed to shut off the lawn mower blade if the operator is no longer present. Manufacturers include this safety feature to help prevent accidents.

Despite the importance of this safety feature, some operators choose to bypass it. This can be extremely dangerous and should never be done. Bypassing the safety stop can lead to serious injury or even death if the operator is not careful.

If you are operating a lawn mower, always follow safety protocol and never bypass the operator-presence safety stop. This simple precaution can help prevent accidents and keep you safe while operating a lawn mower.

Mower Safety Guideline Summary

Before Starting Mower …
  • Put on close-fitting clothes and sturdy, non-slip shoes. 
  • If the lawn is wet – wait! 
  • Go over the lawn carefully to pick up stones, wire, toys, and dog bones – anything the mower blade might pick up and throw. 
  • If your electric mower is not labeled “double insulated,” never plug it into anything but a grounded (three-prong) outlet. 
  • Adjust the cutting height before starting the mower.
While You Mower …
  • Never run the mower over gravel, stones, or hard, immovable objects like pipes, rocks, or sidewalk edges. 
  • Mow advancing forward whenever possible so you can see where you are going. 
  • Keep the electric mower cord out of the cutting path. 
  • Stay clear of the blade housing and the discharge chute. 
  • Never point the discharge chute at others. 
  • Turn off the mower before you leave it – even for a moment.
Be Sure To …
  • Disconnect the spark plug or power cord before working on your mower. 
  • Treat gasoline like the volatile fuel that it is. 
  • Keep the power cord of an electric mower in near-new condition. 

No! Allowing a child to ride on a riding mower is never safe. Extra riders are distracting, block controls, and easily fall off. The child can suffer serious injury from the rotating blades of the mower.

No! Keep your child inside while cutting the grass.

  • Children often run from behind into the mower’s path, causing serious injury. 
  • The mower operator is often unaware the child is around or cannot hear the child approaching. 
  • Children can be injured by toys, rocks, and other objects thrown by the mowing blade. 
  • Injuries from flying objects can result in blindness, loss of limbs, and even death.

Always keep yard tools out of the reach of children. These include weed eaters, power saws and trimmers, all a possible risk for injury. Keep all gasoline, insect killers and fertilizers labeled and away from children.

  • Always read the operator’s manual carefully. 
  • Do not mow in reverse. 
  • Know how to stop the mower quickly. 
  • Leave all safety features and warning labels intact. 
  • Always clear the mowing area of toys, sticks, and trash before mowing. 
  • Never allow a child to control a mower. 
  • Keep children and pets inside while mowing. 
  • Never leave a running mower unattended. 
  • Wear proper clothing, including hard shoes and eye protection. 
  • Children can also be burned by touching the mower. Keep children away from the mower at all times. 
  • Always stay alert while mowing. Watch for children coming into the mowing area. Headphones are not recommended. 
  • Never mow on wet grass. 
  • Never mow in the dark or at twilight.
  • A walk-behind mower can usually be operated by a child who is 12 years old. It is advised that a riding mower be operated by no one under 16 years of age. 
  • Safety instruction and adult supervision are highly recommended and encouraged. 
  • Consult your operator’s manual for further instruction and guidance. 
  • Maturity, coordination, and judgment are recommended for the safe operation of any piece of machinery.

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