Nobody thinks they’ll ever get injured when mowing the lawn and not because they don’t misunderstand the injuries a lawn mower can cause, but because they think the accidents will always happen to someone else. But that’s not the case, as people get injured by lawn mowers everyday. Sometimes it’s because of lack of preparation, sometimes it’s because of distraction, and sometimes it’s because of truly unavoidable circumstances. Mower Source is here to look over some of the most common accidents that can happen with a lawn mower, and what you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a statistic.
Contact with the Rotating Blade
You’re mowing along happily when suddenly, you notice the grass isn’t being cut anymore. So, in an attempt to get it going again, you turn the lawn mower off, reach underneath to clear a clump of clogged grass…and find out the blades haven’t stopped moving. This kind of accident can also occur if you reach into the discharge chute, and is incredibly preventable. Remember that just because you turned the lawn mower off, it doesn’t necessarily mean the blades won’t move of their own accord. Sometimes, there’s pressure holding them in a certain position and dislodging the object that’s pushing them back can cause a reverse reaction, causing the blades to move. Your best bet is to turn the machine off, unplug the cord (if it’s an electrical lawn mower), and then use a stick or broom handle to dislodge anything underneath or in the chute.
Let’s say you’re smart about not sticking your hand anywhere near the blades and know to use a stick instead — you’re still not out of the accident woods yet. Objects on your lawn that can’t get shredded by the blades — just about anything other than grass, small sticks, and paper — will ricochet off the blades and possibly up at you. And despite your best efforts to clear the lawn free of debris before you start, there can still be little objects laying hidden in the grass, like pieces of glass or small stones. Your best course of action is to walk around your lawn before you start, trying as best as you can to pick up anything that’s not grass.
If you ride a motorcycle, then you know to be incredibly careful of the muffler when you dismount, because that thing gets incredibly hot, incredibly fast. Lawn mowers operate much the same way, heating up quickly and able to cause severe burns. Treat your lawn mower like an oven, and don’t touch until you’re absolutely sure it’s cooled down. Another kind of burn injury can be caused if gasoline leaks anywhere, and is sparked into a fire by the engine’s ignition system or battery. To prevent becoming seriously injured, make sure you have a fire extinguisher outside with you that can put out either electrical or gasoline fires.
If you use a riding lawn mower, then this type of accident is always a possibility. You don’t have a lot of visibility behind you, and with the amount of noise a riding mower makes, there’s always the chance of reversing over someone. To avoid this, always have your children or anyone else in plain sight before going backwards.
And as sturdy as some riding mowers may be, they’re not completely immune from toppling over, such as on hills or bumpy spots on the lawn. To prevent this, go as steadily as you can, using a walk-behind mower if you have to on tricky bits. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but compared to the chance of severe injury caused by riding a lawn mower over trouble spots, it’s just a lot smarter to take a couple minutes extra.