Lawnmowers are helpful tools to have, but they can be very dangerous. Every year, thousands of people suffer deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken bones and other injuries due to the improper or careless use of lawnmowers. In 2010, 253,000 people were treated for lawnmower-related injuries in the US. Most lawnmower injuries can be prevented if you concentrate on your task, use caution and of course, common sense.
Maintain your lawnmower. Keep your mower in good working order. Have it serviced before using it for the first time in a season. Make sure the blade is sharp and secured properly. Make sure the motor is off before inspecting or repairing any part of the mower equipment.
Operate your mower properly. Read the instruction manual before using a lawnmower. Do not remove any safety devices, shields or guards. Add fuel before starting the engine, not when it is running or hot. Never leave a lawnmower unattended while it is running. If you must leave the mower, shut off the engine.
Use caution. Wear protective gloves, goggles, sturdy shoes and long pants when you use lawnmowers. Never mow barefooted or in sandals or flip flops. Keep hands and feet away from the blade at all times. If debris is caught in the blade, use a stick or broom handle to dislodge it.
Be aware of your terrain. Remove any rocks, sticks, toys or other objects from the yard before mowing. Use caution when mowing hills and slopes. Mow across slopes to avoid pulling the mower over your feet if you happen to slip. Mow up and down slopes with a riding mower to prevent the mower from tipping over. Do not cut wet grass.
Keep children safe. Never allow a child or another passenger to ride on a mower, even with their parents. Children should not be allowed to play in or near where a lawnmower is being operated. Mowers can throw objects in any direction.
You should be familiar with your lawnmower in order to obtain the best results, have a neat appearing lawn, and prevent accidents. However, lawnmowers are not meant to be toys and are certainly not to be used for joy rides! The dangers of using a lawnmower should never be taken lightly.