Every year, around 7,000 accidents occur in UK due to lawn mowers. Carelessness is often the cause. Particularly often affected are mowing children, open shoes without protective caps, removing grass with the hand on the running mower or stones thrown away during mowing. Due to the high rotational speeds, this usually results in serious injuries or even amputations.
Automatic safety mechanisms
Modern lawn mowers and robotic mowers have automatic safety mechanisms designed to minimize the risk of injury. Hand-held mowers often use a dead man’s lever that must be pressed during operation. When this is released, the lawn mower engine stops abruptly. On ride-on mowers, a switch in the operator’s seat provides a similar safety shutdown.
Take your own precautions
To ensure safe operation of the garden equipment, however, there are other precautions you should take into account and keep in mind at all times:
Get expert advice in advance
Before using a motorized garden tool, you should have a professional instruct you and / or study the operating instructions very carefully. The lawn mower manufacturers give important hints and tips on the exact handling of the respective device and point out special features. The latter especially gives advice on the next important point.
Maintain your lawn mower regularly
After work is done or towards winter, the mower is often put directly into the shed without subjecting it to maintenance. At regular intervals, you yourself or a technically skilled professional should service all garden equipment. This will not only increase the safety of operation, but also the lifetime of the device itself. A jammed cutting blade that should only be loosened briefly can cost you your entire hand in the worst case.
Always wear protective clothing
Even at higher temperatures in summer, you should always wear protective clothing when mowing the lawn. This primarily includes sturdy footwear (safety shoes), gloves and safety glasses. Long pants to protect against flying stones or branches and hearing protection are also recommended.
Switch off the machine completely
Before performing any work on the lawn mower, and even if you only want to clear the discharge of a little grass, please turn off the machine completely and then wait a short moment. As a precaution, remove the battery from cordless lawn mowers and unplug the power cord from electric mowers. Only when the cutting blades have then come to a complete stop may you examine the device.
Avoid electricity and wetness
If you own an electric lawn mower, avoid mowing in wet conditions. It is too easy to get electrocuted, which can be life-threatening to you. Therefore, always make sure that the plug connection is dry.
Speaking of plugs, when using an extension cord, it is important to inspect the cord for damage before use and always keep an eye on it while mowing. In addition, the protection rating should be at least IP44, so that it is protected against splashing water.
Tidy up the lawn
Before mowing, it is advisable to remove all obstacles on the lawn. Especially smaller objects such as stones and branches or toys that lie in the tall grass can become a dangerous projectile that can injure you and those around you. Larger objects also require more frequent stops and unnecessarily extend mowing time.
Watch out for children playing
Before gardening, especially inform children of the dangers and make sure they stay out of the immediate area. It is important that they learn at an early age how dangerous technical equipment can be and that they treat it with respect.
Mowing the lawn is not an allowance activity either! Please give your children other tasks to supplement their pocket money.
Stay away from alcohol
As tempting as it may be in the summer to drink a cold beer alongside a strenuous activity, there are dangers in doing so. In addition to decreased reaction time, risk-taking also increases. It’s better to postpone your after-work beer until after you’ve finished gardening. Then you will have earned it.