Riding mower safety is a subject that gets covered plenty – every year we are given thorough reminders in the spring regarding the dangers that come with these machines. All too often, we forget about the inherent safety issues with push mowers. These machines are addressed with a sort of afterthought, almost as though their size makes them less dangerous. This fact might just mean that push mowers are even more dangerous – more than a few accidents occur because of the user being too comfortable with a machine. So what are some safety reminders to keep in mind when using a push mower his year?
- Dress Appropriately – Wear long pants to prevent impact damage to your leg in the case of the mower throwing out a rock or other object. Also sunglasses pull double-duty, making it easier to see while also keeping dust and grass from blowing up into your eyes.
- Don’t Forget Your Feet – Mowing barefoot or in sandals might sound like a fun idea, but it’s incredibly dangerous – always wear close-toed shoes, preferably steel-toed. Work boots are great because they provide ankle support as well as full covering.
- Push, Don’t Pull – They’re called push mowers for a reason. Pulling them towards you means that if you would slip, the mower – and its spinning blade – will be pulled towards you. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to pull the mower back, do so from a planted stance, and do it slowly and smoothly.
- Plan Ahead – The best way to avoid pulling the mower is planning your mowing path out ahead of time. This will also allow you to identify safety hazard and fix them, before you’re pushing your mower along.
- Move Debris before Mowing – By getting debris out of the way, you won’t hit it or be stopped while mowing. One of the most dangerous push mower moves that people do is to try and keep the mower going while reaching down to move or remove debris.
- Do Not Operate Mower Without a Discharge Guard or Grass Catcher – Mowing without one of the two will allow for grass and any objects you hit to be thrown up into the air and at the operator. The discharge guard deflects objects, while the grass catcher creates a contained situation.
- Keep the Wheels on the Ground – Any time you raise a wheel or wheels, it makes the platform less stable. Less stability means a greater likelihood of an accident. Raising a wheel or wheels exposes the spinning blade, which is a major safety issue.
- Mow Across Grades – By mowing across grades, you make it so that if you should slip, gravity will help you fall away from the mower, and keep the mower from rolling back on you or getting away from you while the blades are still running.
By remembering these safety issues, you can protect yourself and your family while mowing your lawn. Make sure to teach your family these points as well, in the case that they would need to mow.