Unless you live in Southern California or the nice parts of Florida (in which case, empty the guest bedroom — Mower Source is moving in), then you have to deal with cold, yucky weather for much of the year. So when those gorgeous days of beautiful weather and tons of sun begin to arrive, it’s tempting to soak them up as much as possible. But one of the downsides of having less ozone layer is you trade in good times for the possibility of skin cancer, so read up on what Mower Source has to say about protecting yourself.
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.
Mower Source knows that its readers are a smart, safe bunch, which is why we want you to check our selection of lawn mowers and accessories so you can practice these safety tips on top-of-the-line products. Order anything you want, and get free shipping to the lower 48 states.
You’ve no doubt already gone out and mowed the lawn at least once this season, if not a few times. After such a long and brutal winter, the temptation to go out there and start sprucing up your lawn is too great to resist, but nor should you. Being outside and tending to your lawn is awesome on so many levels: the fresh air is invigorating, it’s a nice change from channel surfing, and you get to have a hands-on role in boosting your home’s curb appeal. But in your rush to start up the lawn mower, it’s important to remember these safety tips from Mower Source so you don’t end up a statistic.
1. Keep Your Lawn Mower in Good Shape
when you get in your car, you want to make sure there are no gaping holes in the flooboard, brakes that are as soft as pudding, or a steering wheel that locks. It’s unsafe, and can cause catastrophic damage. But because your lawn mower is much smaller, it tends to get ignored for basic maintenance.
This is especially true for riding lawn mowers, because the last thing you want to deal with is a machine with hot oil and many moving parts going rogue on you. You don’t have to necessarily perform a full mechanical inspection every time you use it, but make it a point to eyeball the mower for physical damage and really listen to it when it’s turned on.
2. Clear the Lawn Before You Begin
One of the main characters in the movie Crazy in Alabama, Peejoe, gets hit in the eye with a golf ball that the lawn mower spit up (it’s the sixth paragraph in this link). Unfortunately, this type of thing isn’t an isolated incident and people get hit with spit-up objects from their lawn mowers all the time.
While a lawn mower’s sharp blades can cut through things, they can also act as a surface upon which objects can bounce off. And if one of those objects is a stone or something else that’s not easily cut, that can shoot right back at you and put you in the hospital. Are potentially thousands of dollars of medical bills worth saving a few minutes to not check the lawn?
3. Watch the Kids
While you be on top of lawn mower safety, your kids still have to experience the learning curve for themselves, which doesn’t have to be dangerous. Take time to talk to them about the potential dangers of a lawn mower, how they can treat it with respect, and to what degree they can be involved in mowing.
Kids are curious creatures and learn about their world by touch, so encourage that in a safe way. Let them be around the lawn mower when you are and don’t turn it on unless they’re a safe distance away. The great thing about children is they’re like little sponges: they’ll soak up everything you tell them, so make sure it’s good and safe information.
4. Don’t Drink and Mow
You may be thinking what a couple of cold ones has to do with mowing the lawn, but it’s just a better idea to avoid it. Your reflexes slow down, you’re more liable to take chances you wouldn’t when sober, and alcohol has a tendency to make its imbibers feel invincible.
Just about 99.9% of people reading this will never think anything can happen to them, that they’ve lawn mowed enough times to be able to do it in their sleep. But it’s precisely that complacency that can cause injuries, as accidents rarely just “happen”. Accidents — true accidents — are things that happen completely out of control, like a boulder dropping on your windshield when you’re on the freeway. What others think of accidents are lapses in focus, concentration and judgement, and drinking before mowing is one of the quickest routes there.
And besides, doesn’t an ice-cold beer taste much better after the physical part of mowing is over?
Whether you pull or push (safer) your lawn mower, have one that goes in both directions, or switched to electric to be eco-friendly, there are four basic safety tips you should always be practicing. Just because a lawn mower is small doesn’t mean it can do big-time damage, and it’s so easy to prevent it, too. Keep Mower Source’s handy guide close to you if you ever need a quick refresher, and our website even closer. We’ve got an amazing line of lawn mowers for every type of yard, and there’s free shipping to the lower 48 states on all of them.
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