Between 2015 and 2017, over 400,000 people were seriously injured due to using outdoor power equipment, according to Consumer Reports. Nearly 383 fatalities had occurred during the same period.
By following the tips mentioned in this blog post, you can keep safe and avoid serious injuries while maintaining your lawn this summer.
1. Check for Obstacles
Before you fire up your outdoor power equipment, you should look for obstacles in the yard. You should check for anything that can hit like a projectile when you mow down the lawn. Remove obstacles such as rocks, branches, and toys that can cause injury when mowing the lawn.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing When Mowing
Avoid flip-flops and shorts when you are mowing the lawn. You should wear sturdy shoes with good grip when mowing the lawn. This is important so that you don’t injure yourself due to slipping and falling when operating the outdoor power equipment.
In addition, you should wear trousers when mowing. This is important even when it is sweltering hot outside when you are mowing the lawn.
3. Keep Children and Pets Away
Young children and pets should not be on the lawn when you are mowing. They have the habit of chasing after running objects that can get them injured. Moreover, the American Academy of Orthopedic also suggests that you should not let children under 12 years old operate a walk-behind mower and children under 16 years old operate a ride-on mower.
4. Never Let Passengers Sit in A Riding Mower
Many injuries occur due to two – or worse more than two – people riding the ride-on mower. A single person should sit on a ride-on mower. Carrying passengers is a risk as they can fall and get run over by the mower.
5. Don’t Put Fingers Inside the Machine
Keeping fingers out of the machine may seem to be common sense. But a lot of people tend to disregard this advice. Many times injuries occur when people put their fingers inside the machine for removing debris or moving the stick.
Remember that power outdoor equipment has potential energy inside in the form of a coiled spring or other mechanisms. You need to be careful when removing any obstruction that causes the blade to stop moving.
Always shut down the machine before removing a clump of grass or other debris. Moreover, you should use a stick or other object to remove any obstruction. Using your fingers to remove the obstacles can result in an injury.
6. Avoid Touching Engine
Another important safety tip when operating power equipment is to not touch the engine during and soon after mowing. The reason is that the engine gets hot during mowing. Touching the hot engine can result in burns.
You should also take care not to add fuel soon after stopping the engine. This can result in a fire since the hot fuel can ignite. Always allow the engine to cool down before adding fuel.
7. Be Careful when Mowing on an Incline
You need to be careful when mowing the lawn on an incline. You should drive the mower up and down rather than from side to side. This will prevent the mower from tipping over that will result in a serious injury.