Lawn Care Safety Tips

Working out in the garden is one of my favorite summertime activities.  I love the smell of freshly cut grass and flowers blooming.  You may be surprised to know that thousands of people are rushed to the hospital every year due to injuries incurred during lawn care accidents. 

The statistics are frightening, with over 90,000 people each year being treated for injuries with almost 100 deaths.  These injuries include broken bones, lacerations, limb loss, and eye injuries. Today we look at simple precautions and lawn care safety tips to keep you out of the emergency room and your garden looking great.

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Lawn Mower Dangers

Accidents with lawnmowers account for the largest number of injuries.  These machines have fast-spinning blades, which pose several dangers.

  1. Cuts and Amputations.  When a sharp fast-spinning blade comes into contact with your flesh, it is not a good thing.  Every year over two thousand people lose fingers, toes, hands, and feet to lawnmowers. 
  2. Flying Objects.  Anyone who has cut a lawn knows that lose objects go flying when a mower blade hits them.  These lose objects fly fast and will do a lot of damage if they hit someone. Flying debris will cause serious eye injuries. 
  3. Hearing Damage.  Lawnmowers are loud.  Children are very vulnerable to hearing damage from prolonged exposure to loud noises.  
  4. Fuel Safety.  Gas-powered lawn mowers are potential fire hazards.  You are at risk of burns from fuel fires.
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Lawn Mower Safety

The good news is that you can keep yourself safe when using your lawnmower.

  1. Wear Protective Clothing.  Wearing basic protective clothing will keep you safe from most mowing accidents.  Always wear proper sturdy footwear when mowing your lawn.  Never wear sandals or flip flops when mowing.  Work gloves will help protect your fingers and hands.  
  2. Wear Eye Protection.  Your eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body.  Permanent eye damage can happen easily.  Safety glasses are a must when you are using your lawnmower.
  3. Wear Hearing Protection.  Hearing damage is easily avoided by wearing hearing protection.  A lawnmower will produce more than 90 decibels of sound.  Hearing damage occurs at 85 decibels, so you need to wear protection.
  4. Power Off Your Mower When Refueling.  Never refuel your mower when it is running.  Spilled fuel can cause fires and serious burns.
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Young Children and Lawnmower Safety

We all like to be outdoors with our kids, but if you take away one thing from this article, please let it be children, and lawnmowers do not mix.  The majority of serious lawnmower accidents happen to children.

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Young children should never be with you in the yard when you are operating your mower.  Never let your child sit on your knee while driving a riding mower.  It is easy for a child to fall off and go under the mower.  Push mowers are just as dangerous as it is easy for the mower to run over a small child’s leg or arm.

It is recommended that the minimum age for a child to operate a push mower is 12, and a riding mower is 16.  Before you let your child operate the mower, ensure they understand the product safety rules, and they always wear protective gear.

Garden Tool Safety

It is not just your lawnmower that is dangerous. Other tools such as an edger and even garden rakes need care.

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Like your mower and edger has a spinning blade, so protective eyewear and proper footwear are required.

Proper storage of your tools and lawn care equipment after use is important.  Blades let on your lawn are dangerous and can cause injury to children playing.

Electrical Safety

If you use any electric-powered garden tools, make sure you pay extra attention to electrical safety.  Frayed or damaged extension cords pose a risk in the outdoors as they are likely to contact water.  When this happens, you are at risk of electrocution.

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Safe Handling of Chemicals

Care needs to be taken when storing and handling chemicals used for fertilizer and weed control.  Many of these chemicals are harmful to humans (and pets) so take care when spreading them.  Always wear personal protective equipment such as dust masks and gloves, and make sure you read the manufacturer’s safety information.

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Working in your yard should be a fun and rewarding experience.  If you take some simple safety precautions, you can make sure you don’t end up an injury statistic.  At a minimum, you need eye protection, sturdy shoes like work boots, and hearing protection to protect from loud equipment.  Please make sure children are kept at a safe distance when you are using lawn machinery.  Small children are in danger of serious injury or even death from lawn care accident.