Mow your lawn safely

Tips to reduce headaches, backaches, accidents and other lawn mower foul-ups.

Tips to reduce headaches, backaches, accidents and other lawn mower foul-ups

The warm days of spring and summer signal the start of regular lawn mowing, part of many gardeners’ activities for the next few months. Consider these tips as you head into the mowing season.

  1. 1. Before operating your mower, read your manual. It may seem obvious, but people often omit this important safety precaution.
  3. 2. Wear the right shoes for the job. They should fully enclose your feet and have good traction. Never mow the lawn barefoot or while wearing sandals. Safety glasses and earplugs are also recommended.
  5. 3. Inspect your lawn before you start. Do not begin mowing until you have walked around the lawn and removed any debris, including litter, sticks, rocks, toys and other objects that could cause serious injury if hit by a mower’s blade. Also, be aware of immovable objects, such as sprinkler heads or partially buried rocks.
  7. 4. Handle fuel carefully. Start and refuel your mower outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Fill up your tank before you start, with the engine turned off and cool. Never fill the tank after the lawn mower has been used and is hot. Vapors from the gasoline can ignite from a hot muffler.
  9. 5. Plan your mowing pattern to move forward as much as possible. Pulling a lawn mower backward can result in foot injuries. On a sloping lawn, mow across, rather than up and down, the incline.
  11. 6. Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths or roads.
  13. 7. Never leave the mower running unattended.

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