Mower & Trimming Safety Part 3 of 4 Series

Mowing and Trimming Safety – Part 3 of Part 4 Series

Preventing Rollover Accidents 

When a mower becomes unstable or out of balance, it can roll over. A human’s reaction time is too slow to stop a rollover once it starts. Look over the area before you mow, noting all land elevation changes. Once you have assessed the area to be mowed, observe the following precautions to avoid rollover accidents.

Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches, embankments or steep slopes.

·         The wheels on your mower and attachments can drop off or slide over the edge, causing the mower to roll over.

·         Use a string trimmer to cut grass in these locations.

·         Do not operate tractors and mowers on steep hills. Refer to the operator’s manual for the maximum slope allowed for your equipment.

Avoid sudden moves - Abrupt starts, stops and sharp turns can make the equipment rollover.

Slow down when turning and make wide, gradual turns, especially when mowing on slopes.

·         Turning quickly and sharply can cause the mower to overturn.

·         When mowing on slopes, don’t turn unless you have to. If turning is required, turn slowly and downhill.

Riding Lawn Mowers

·         Mow up and down slopes, not across.

·         Your mower can become unbalanced and overturn on slopes, if you do not drive in the correct direction.

·         Mowing up and down slopes can help prevent a side rollover.

·         Keep the heavy end uphill to avoid a rollover.

·         Refer to your operator’s manual to determine which end is heavier.

Walk Behind Mower

·         Mow across slopes, not up and down, to keep you from sliding underneath the mower.

Avoid Being Caught in Moving Parts

Keep both hands and feet on the equipment at all times (if applicable).

Never reach around or beneath a running mower or trimmer.

Never use a mower or trimmer without all shields and guards in place.

Shields and guards protect you from being caught in moving parts and should always be in place and undamaged when operating mowers and trimmers.

Never add blades or chains not recommended by the manufacturer.

A blade or chain not specifically designed for the equipment can seriously injure or kill you. Refer to the operator’s manual for recommended attachments.

Shut off the engine before picking up debris or unclogging the chute.

If the mower becomes clogged, turn the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire before attempting to clear debris from the discharge chute. String trimmers should also be turned off before removing debris.

Never work on the equipment while it is running.

Turn off the engine, disconnect the spark plug wire (or unplug if electrical) and allow moving parts to stop before unclogging, adjusting, changing blades or working on equipment. This procedure should also be followed if you hit an object or if the equipment vibrates unusually.

Be cautious on wet grass.

Slips on wet grass can cause you to fall into the equipment’s moving parts. Also, wet grass can cause riding mowers to slide or skid, throwing you off.

Always push the mower, never pull, to keep from pulling the mower over your feet.

Never lift the mower up. Push the mower forward to turn so that you do not pull the equipment over your feet.

Article provided by:  Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service