Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 Lawn Mowing Safety Tips

  1. Read: That's right, you need to read. Read what? The instruction manual to your lawnmower. The manual will list any warning labels you should be aware of, and it'll cover basic operation. Even if you've used your mower a million times, it never hurts to become familiar again with that manual. You might learn something new, something that could be helpful.
  2. Checks: What I mean here is you need to check over the mower before you start it up, especially if it's the first time the mower has been started in some while. Make sure all the safety devices on the mower are in the proper place and working fine. This could save a finger or a toe, or even a life.
  3. Pay attention: Keep your eyes open, and don't allow yourself to drowse while pushing or behind the steering wheel of your mower. It's easy to do. The day is hot. You're getting tired. Maybe you've even had a beer or two. And that mowing is so monotonous. And the hum of the engine kind of lulls you into a walking near-sleep. Don't allow this to happen to you. It can cause plenty of accidents. Stay alert!
  4. Keep your cool: Mowing is generally done in warmer weather. Especially if you're older and/or have a history of illness, specifically heart troubles, you need to be careful when mowing in the heat. All that pushing and pulling and sweating can be dangerous for the body. Take it easy. Drink a little water from time to time. Take a rest when your body needs it. Don't push yourself too much.
  5. It's all in the shoes: Shoes can help save your toes. You don't necessarily have to wear steel-toed boots when mowing, though it couldn't hurt, but you should have on your feet a pair of sturdy shoes. Flip flops and sandals are definitely a no-no. Even most tennis shoes and sneakers won't offer much protection. I'd suggest at the least wearing something leather on your feet.
  6. Watch the kids: Children really shouldn't be using a lawn mower. It's too dangerous for them, especially young children and especially riding mowers. If possible, keep the kids indoors when you're mowing or at a safe distance away. And definitely don't allow a child to drive or ride as a passenger on a riding lawn mower. This should go for pets, too.
  7. Don't pull: This one is easier said than done, but it's also a matter of safety. Try not to pull the mower toward you. There's a lot more chances of something bad happening in those situations. The mower could slip and slide toward you faster than you could deal with it. You could lose control and there's the mower bearing down on you. If you're pushing the mower away from you, there's less chance of an accident.
  8. Don't smoke: This one seems kind of obvious, but some people do it anyone. Don't smoke around your lawn mower. Why? Because there's gasoline involved! Gasoline and burning cigarettes don't mix! This is especially true if you are pouring gasoline into your mower.
  9. Work only outdoors: Of course the mowing is done outdoors, but other kinds of work done to mowers is feasible inside. But it's still not a safe idea. If you're working on your mower, remove the spark plug so there's no chance to mower could accidentally turn on. If you're filling the mower up with has, do so outdoors so there's little chance the fumes could overcome you, possibly causing illness or even unconscious or worse.
  10. Clean up the yard: Before you fire that mower up, walk over the area to be mowed. Look for rocks or toys or any other objects that could cause problems. Remember that the mower's blade is spinning awful fast, and it won't necessarily chew up everything it comes into contact with. In fact, it'll likely shoot out at high speeds any larger objects. That's dangerous, possibly even deadly. And it could chew up your blades or tear up the mower in some other fashion.

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