Roughly 80,000 people visit emergency rooms each year for treatment related to lawn mower accidents. The most common lawn mower injuries stem from airborne debris propelled by fast-moving mower blades. Other injuries include severed fingers, toes and limbs, as well as crushed body parts. The following five safety tips will help you avoid a visit to the hospital because of a lawn mowing accident.
Maintain your lawn mower
By keeping your lawn mower properly maintained, you can prevent it from overheating and catching on fire. A lawn mower short on coolant is more inclined to overheat. In addition to making sure your mower has enough coolant and is properly tuned up, be careful to clean out any debris that may have collected in the engine, muffler and cutting unit. When dry grass makes its way into the muffler, it can cause the mower to catch on fire.
Wear appropriate clothing
Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to protect your lower body. You should also wear safety glasses or, at the very least, sunglasses to protect your eyes. Covering vulnerable body parts shields you from rocks, twigs and other debris that might become projectiles. Many people also choose to wear earplugs to protect their hearing while operating a lawn mower.
Survey the area
Keep your children away from the yard when you are mowing. Even if you have told them to stay away, continue to watch for them, as well as pets, to avoid any accidents. Watch for discarded toys and other items in the grass to avoid running over them.
Be cautious when mowing on an incline
When mowing a slope, mow across the incline, not up or down. This helps you avoid slipping under the mower, or tipping over on a riding mower. If you are using a riding mower, be sure to wear your seat belt. Become familiar with all your mower's controls before attempting to mow a slope so that you can act quickly if necessary.
Wait for blades to stop rotating
Many people make the mistake of forgetting that lawn mower blades continue to rotate even after the engine is shut off. Be sure your mower's blades have completely stopped before you remove the grass catcher, attempt to unclog the grass chute, cross gravel pathways or leave the mower unattended.
If you'd rather not to mow your lawn yourself or want more mowing safety tips, contact an Atlanta-area professional landscaper.