Thousands of injuries are caused every year due to incorrect use of lawn mowers and lack of safety precautions. One of the best ways to help reduce the risk posed by lawn mowers is to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). It is not only important to wear appropriate PPE, but also to maintain it. If you are unsure if your equipment is up to standard, visit the Safe Work Australia website.
When you are looking to purchase a new lawn mower, make sure you first take the necessary steps to lower the chance of harm. Read over the owner’s manual, and if you are unsure of any information you read, have a look online for more detailed explanations or speak to your local specialised provider.
Essential Personal Protective Equipment
Lawn movers of all types are extremely powerful and can cause immense harm. Both stand-behind and ride-on lawn mowers have very sharp and fast moving blades. It is important to lower the risk of harm by wearing appropriate PPE.
Here are some of the most important PPE to use when operating a lawn mower:
Long close-fitting thick pants are a must when operating a lawn mower. Long pants help protect you from flying debris. Assuring the pants are close-fitting reduced the risk of them getting caught on hedges, branches etc.
It is important to wear sturdy, closed-toed, non-slip safety shoes. Try to find snug shoes with no laces to prevent the chance of entanglement with equipment, hedges and bushes. It is important not to go barefoot or wear such shoes as tennis shoes as they can be easily severed if caught under the mowing deck.
It is vital to assure you have the correct face and eye protection when operating a lawn mower. Safety glasses or goggles are a must to help protect from flying debris. Face masks are even better protection and help keep your whole face safe. Dusk masks are also recommended usually during dryer seasons or when mowing areas which have a high amount of loose sand.
To help prevent harm to your hearing, it is important to wear good quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Ear muffs/plugs help to reduce the noise from your mower as it can often be very loud and prolonged use could cause harm. It is also important not to listen to portable music players during operation as they are a distraction.
Safety gloves help to protect your hands from scratches, blisters and cut. They also help give you a firmer grip on your tools. Wearing the correct hand protection is a must for most landscaping and garden maintenance so it’s important to get a high-quality pair.
Handy Safety Tips
Personal Protective Equipment goes a long way to help reduce the potential harm caused by lawn mowers. However, it is vitally important that you also understand the correct way to use your machine.
Here are a few handy safety tips to consider when looking to purchase or use a lawn mower:
- Be aware of your mowers safety instructions and features such as emergency stop
- Always check equipment for wear and tear before operating. If anything needs to be replaced, make sure it is replaced before you proceed
- Never attempt to remove debris from your lawn mower with your hands. Even when not in operation, the blades are very sharp and can cause serious harm
- Children under the age of 16 should not operate ride on lawn mowers
- Keep people and pets away from the area you are mowing
- Only ever mow your grass during the day due to visibility risks at night
- Ensure grass is dry and free from debris such as glass and stones before mowing
- You should not listen to portable music players when mowing as it is a distraction
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