Your Lawn Mower Is More Dangerous Than You Think

Lawn Machine Safety- Summer’s Coming!

Now that warmer weather is approaching, many businesses and private individuals are moving powered lawn equipment out of hibernation.  Mowers, leaf blowers, and lawn trimmers start making their appearance at businesses and households everywhere.  Reported injury statistics involving lawn mowers is roughly 180,000 per year from people of all ages according to Technology Associates.  This injury statistic startlingly includes about 17,000 children.

The most common injuries involving walk behind and riding mowers:

  • Eye/face injuries
  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Strike-by trauma

The most common injuries result from:

  • Contact with the rotating cutting blades
  • Objects ejected from the chute
  • Run overs
  • Roll overs
  • Fires
  • Hearing loss from the noise

It is important that people are knowledgeable in:

  • Safe operation of potentially very hazardous equipment
  • Safe start up and shutdown
  • Safe fuel handling
  • Preventing roll overs/run overs
  • Proper preparation of a work area
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Proper clothing and footwear
  • Working around roadways and pedestrians

Training and accountability is key to operating these labor saving machines safely. There are vast amounts of materials available to help educate employees on safely operating mowers and other lawn equipment. Start with the operating manuals provided when the equipment was purchased. Include lawn mower safety in your regular safety training schedule.

Consider taking a look at who is running the lawn equipment at your business.  Are they landscaping professionals, maintenance or facilities staff, or summer seasonal labor? Ask yourself, “Do they really know what they’re doing?”  Observe them while keeping care and maintenance, safe handling and operating procedures, and protective equipment in mind.   Do you, in fact, know if they are using the equipment properly at any given time?

MEMIC will be hosting a live webinar at 10:00am EDT on Thursday, May 12, 2016 entitled Mower, Blower, and Trimmer Safety.  This one-hour presentation is free for all MEMIC policy holders; click here to register.

For additional information regarding the safe operation of lawn equipment check out the resources available from Kansas State University via OSHA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.