Let's face facts here—lawn mowers are inherently dangerous, and if you don't take the proper steps to learn at least basic mowing safety you are potentially putting yourself and others at risk. Luckily it's not all that difficult to learn the basics. Simply follow these guidelines to ensure that you have the basics under wraps:
- Read the owners manual. Before operating any type of machinery you should always read the owners manual. This will not only tell you how can operate the machine properly, but also show you how to maintain it correctly. Despite what many people may think, proper maintenance is a key part of basic mowing safety. After all, if you are taking care of the machine properly you can find yourself in a dangerous situation and not even know it.
- Never turn the mower over. It may seem a little unnecessary to say it, but you should never turn the mower over while it is still running. You would be surprised at how many people overlook this simple idea and turn the mower over to see if the blades are operating properly. By doing this you are exposing the moving naked blades to the air, and allowing anything that may be stuck underneath the mower to shoot out. Not to mention that it would be all too simple to trip and fall into the blades.
- Inspect your mower. Prior to starting your mowing job make sure that you inspect the mower to see if it is in good working condition. This means that there is no spilled fuel or oil on the machine, the blades are nice and sharp and not bent, and that the wheels will move freely.
- Inspect your lawn. Take a brief walk around your yard before you start mowing. Make sure that you move, remove, or at the least identify, any potential hazards that you may find yourself faced with. Common hazards include things like a low cut tree trunk or large rock that you can't move or toys that are left out which can become damaged in some way and end up hurting you or your lawn mower.
- Dress appropriately. Always dress appropriately when working with a lawn mower. Considering that those blades are moving rather rapidly, it only stands to reason that you can find yourself easily getting hurt from a piece of something that gets chopped up and then thrown out. Two pieces of clothing that you should always wear are long pants and closed toed shoes.
- Be age appropriate. Younger children are not exactly the best operators for a lawn mower. Make sure that they are able to handle the machine safely, and appropriately, before you have them operate it without any supervision. Keep in mind that a lawn mower is a potentially dangerous machine, and as such children need to be taught how to operate it safely. After all, you wouldn't give the keys to your vehicle to a teen you hadn't taught to drive would you?