Summer weather is finally gracing the metro-Atlanta community. Many Cobb County homeowners will begin their yearly property maintenance. This often involves mowing your lawn. Although lawn mowers are handy and effective tools, they can also pose a threat to users and those around them.
This may be surprising to many, but each year approximately 253,000 people are treated for injuries sustained from a lawn-mower related incident (according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission). Many within that number are children. The most common injuries include cuts or lacerations, amputation of fingers and toes, broken bones, and burns. These devices are very powerful and can even lead to amputations. The amount of energy that an average lawn mower blade transmits is comparable to one’s hand being shot with a .357 Magnum gun. Lawn mower blades have also been known to expel pieces of metal and wood in speeds up to 100 MPH.
In an effort to keep Marietta, Kennesaw, and surrounding cities’ citizens safe while mowing their lawns this summer, we have compiled a list of safety tips to keep in mind while operating a lawn mower:
- Maintain and service your lawn mower as early during the season as possible. There are numerous businesses in the Cobb County area that will service your mower, which is a safer alternative than doing so yourself.
- Read the instruction manual thoroughly prior to operating the mower.
- Ensure that all children and pets are indoors prior to mowing the lawn. Children should be 16 years old before operating a riding mower and 12 or older to use a push mower.
- Wear clothing that will make you safer while mowing your lawn. Close-toed shoes are important, as well as long pants, goggles, and gloves.
- Prior to mowing the lawn, remove all stones, sticks, and other things that may become projectiles and endanger those in the vicinity.
- Add fuel to the mower outside and before using the mower. It should be cool prior to adding fuel, so if it runs out of fuel prior to finishing, it is important to let the mower cool before adding more.
- Do not start your mower inside. Wait until you move it outside the shed or garage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Wet grass charges the discharge area on mowers, so wait until the ground is dry before mowing the lawn.
- Riding mowers should be driver up and down slopes so that rollovers are prevented. Push mowers should be operated diagonally across slopes.
- Do not mow backwards, or in reverse.
- Do not leave a mower idling. Turn off the power before walking away.
- Do not push a mower over mulch, pavement, or rock while it is turned on. The engine should first be shut off.
- Do not adjust blade height or clean out debris from the blades until the mower is off and blades have completely stopped spinning. A stick can be safely used to clean debris in the chute.
Many readers may see these tips as common sense, but we at Jones & Swanson feel that the best way to prevent an accident is to educate our community members thoroughly.
Jones & Swanson represents victims of accidents in which another person caused their significant injury. If you or someone you know have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip or trip and fall, or other incident, contact our firm today at (770) 427-5498. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.