Lawn Safety

Lawncare is a routine household chore during the spring and summer months to maintain a healthy, well-kept yard. It's also an outdoor activity that can lead to serious injuries, especially when a lusing a lawn mower or weed trimmer. Walk-behind mowers can be extremely dangerous to operators and bystanders when safety guards are removed, safety shut-down devices are disabled, and when mowers are operated in unsafe manner or environment. Weed trimmers can throw stones, sticks, and other objects at high speeds. Practice the following safety tips to prevent injury:  

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

  • Walk-through the yard prior to mowing. Remove any debris and obstructions including toys, limbs, rocks, wire, or glass. Locate all sprinkler heads, exposed electrical wire or cords, tree stumps, or exposed roots and pipe.
  • Keep hands and feet away from the blade area while the mower is running.
  • Never reach underneath or into the discharge chute to clear away grass or other obstructions when the blades are turning.
  • Never bypass the engine kill handle or remove shields when mowing.
  • Mow back and forth along the side of a steep hill, never up and down the slope.
  • Always push the mower; never pull to keep from pulling the mower over your feet.
  • Don’t direct the discharge chute in the direction of bystanders.
  • Wear boots or shoes with good traction to avoid slipping and falling. Do not operate when barefoot or wearing sandals.
  • Don’t allow young children to operate a walk-behind mower that they cannot safely control.
  • Be careful when refueling a hot engine. Use a funnel to avoid spilling fuel. Clean up any fuel spills immediately.
  • Never smoke while servicing, operating, and refueling a mower.
  • Wear proper protection against flying debris and noise (long pants, hard shoes, safety glasses, ear plugs, etc.)
  • Allow the engine to cool before lifting, cleaning or returning.
  • Turn the power off and disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug before inspecting or cleaning.
  • Don’t run a gasoline powered mower inside a garage; this could cause carbon dioxide poisoning.
  • Never touch the spark plug with your hand or a tool when the mower is operating.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended, especially when children are around.
  • Don’t mow a wet lawn. Losing control from slipping on rain-soaked grass is the leading cause of foot injury caused by power mowers.
  • When using an electric mower, keep the cord behind you. Trail it over your shoulder and mow away from the cord, never toward it.

Weed Trimmer Safety Tips

  • Remove debris such as glass, limbs, rocks, and trash that could possibly become a projectile before trimming.
  • Watch out for exposed electrical wires, communication lines, and extension cords that could be damaged by the trimmer string.
  • Don’t remove protective guards and string guides.
  • Monitor the string length. Automatic-feed and bump-feed trimmers may let out more string than you think; this might cause the string to strike you unexpectedly.
  • Make sure all children and bystanders are out of the way before you begin trimming.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment such as long-pants, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, hard boots, goggles or safety glasses, and ear plugs.
  • With electric trimmers, inspect all extension cords for cuts, nicks, scrapes, and exposed wire that could pose an electrical hazard. Replace damaged cords immediately.
  • Don’t operate electric trimmers when conditions are wet or around water puddles.
  • Unplug electric trimmers and turn off gas-powered trimmers before inspecting, cleaning, adjusting, or replacing string.
  • Never leave an electric trimmer plugged in or a gas-powered trimmer running while unattended.
  • Before refueling gas-powered trimmers, place the trimmer on the ground and allow the engine to cool.