Pay Attention and Use Common Sense
Though lawnmowers (and other power equipment) do pose a hazard when used improperly, the
potential for injury can be greatly reduced by following some common sense rules and by being aware of
- There is never a good reason to reach under a running lawnmower. Period. If you experience a
clogged mower from wet grass or you run over something with the mower and you need to clear the mowing
deck, don't do anything until you TURN THE MOWER OFF and remove the spark plug wire from the spark
plug! Only after the mower has shut down and the blade has stopped spinning is it safe to look or
reach under the mower.
- If you are using an electric-powered lawnmower, pay careful attention to where the power cord is
at all times. Running over the cord could lead to serious injury from electric shock.
- Never leave the lawnmower unattended while it's running. Most walk-behind mowers won't run when
they are unattended though some older mowers and riding mowers generally will continue to run. If your
mower does not shut off automatically when you let go of the controls, and you are going to be away
from the controls for any length of time, shut the lawnmower off.
- Avoid cutting the grass when it's wet from a rain shower or from heavy morning dew. Wet grass
clogs the mower easily and can lead to a frustrating and possibly dangerous lawnmowing experience.
Additionally, mowing wet grass with an electric mower can pose the risk of electric shock.
- Be very careful when mowing any steep incline or hill. Accidents occur more frequently on slopes
due to less traction and improper mowing techniques. Be sure the grass is dry and then mow across the
slope using a walk-behind mower. If you are using a riding mower, mow the slope in an up-and-down
pattern - don't travel across the slope as the mower may possibly tip and roll down the hill. If a
hill is too steep to mow safely, plant wildflowers and admire the view.
- Riding mowers are not meant to carry passengers. No matter how much they beg and plead, don't
allow children to ride along on lawn tractors or riding mowers. Many children have been hurt and
killed after falling off of riding mowers and being run over or struck by the blade.
- When using a riding mower or lawn tractor, practice the same good driving skills that you use
when driving your car. Mow defensively watching out for people, pets, or objects that may wind up in
your path unexpectedly. Drive at speeds appropriate for the conditions and never horseplay while
operating a powerful tractor or riding mower.
- Never mow your lawn or service your lawnmower while under the influence of alcohol, powerful
medication, drugs or if you're feeling tired and drowsy. Even over-the-counter cold & flu medicines
may impair your ability to safely operate your lawnmower. If you're impaired, the most yardwork you
should do is to lie in the hammock.
Only you can be the one to prevent injuries caused by operator error or mistake.
Use your head, take your time, and follow the guidelines above and elsewhere on this site.
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