Wear Protective Gear
Even though lawn mowers travel at low speeds, the blades on the deck revolve at high speeds, sometimes causing grass, weeds, sticks and even rocks to be thrown at dangerous speeds. You should be dressed properly from head to toe. Wearing flip-flops is highly discouraged when mowing the lawn. It is important to protect your feet and toes from potential harm by mower blades or lawn projectiles. If mowing early in the morning, grass can be wet; you should wear sturdy, slip-resistant shoes to be most effective when mowing. When needed, wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts when mowing to shield you from sun damage and lawn projectiles. Be sure to protect your vision when mowing by wearing sunglasses or safety glasses to keep dust and small grass particles out of your eyes. The absence of a cab exposes you to excessive motor noise when mowing your lawn; purchase earplugs to protect your hearing.
Before mowing, inspect your machine and all its parts to ensure maximum mowing efficiency. Do not make adjustments unless the engine is turned off.
Here is a basic safety checklist to complete before mowing your lawn:
- Adjust and sharpen the blades of the mower
- Check the air pressure in each tire
- Check oil and fuel levels
- Display a reflective Slow-Moving Vehicle (SMV) sticker on the back of the mower when traveling on or near public roads
Check Lawn for Obstructions
There are a lot of things that can accumulate in your lawn between mowing cycles. Thoroughly walk through the grass and remove large sticks, metal, glass, wire, rocks or any other obstructions before mowing. When the lawn mower blades hit those objects, it could start a fire, damage or dull the mower blades or damage surroundings.
Be Aware of Surroundings
Never allow children to be a passenger on a riding lawn mower. They are small enough to be seriously injured by the mower blades or crushed by the machine. Make sure the children play in a safe area while you mow, and do not allow them to play in the yard until you are finished. When mowing near public roads, always watch for traffic. Only mow close to the roadway when there is no traffic present. Lawn mowers can easily tip over while mowing on uneven ground. When using a push mower, mow the grass across the faces of hills, not up and down. When using a riding mower, mow up and down on small slopes, but avoid mowing on excessively steep slopes. Always make sure the mower is off before clearing jams or making adjustments.