Tips For Safe Lawn Mowing This Summer

Mowing your lawn can be a very relaxing and therapeutic way to spend a summer's afternoon.  However, a lawn mower can be a potentially dangerous piece of equipment if not used safely.  Here are some useful tips for drama-free lawn mowing this year.

  1. Dress appropriately Floaty summer dresses and flimsy footwear are not suitable attire for lawn mowing, no matter how hot the weather is.  Trailing fabric can easily become caught up in the mower's blades or tangle around the controls of a ride-on mower.  Flip-flops and sandals offer your feet no protection from spinning blades, could become caught up on mower foot pedals, and are more likely to cause a trip or stumble than more robust shoes or boots.  It's also much safer to wear full-length trousers, rather than shorts when mowing your lawn.  This gives you protection from fragments of stone and wood splinters that could fly up and cause injury to bare legs. It's also a good idea to wear eye protection, especially if the grass is very long.  A stray fleck of grass that flies into your eye can be excruciatingly painful.  
  2. Kids and pets When you're operating a ride-on mower, you'll be focused on the job in hand and you may not see a small child or a pet that has strayed into your path.  Keep kids and pets indoors and out of harm's way while you're cutting the grass. Never be tempted to give your kids a ride around the garden on your mower.  Mowers and lawn tractors are not designed to carry passengers, even small ones, and the extra weight could make the vehicle unstable enough to tip it over. 
  3. Sticks and stones Before you begin mowing, always inspect your lawn and remove any stones, sticks, and equipment such as garden sprinklers.  Running the mower over such items could transform them into missiles as they are spat out by the rotating mower blades.  Larger pieces of debris could also cause expensive damage your mower. For the same reason, you should always turn off the mower when crossing gravel pathways and roads.  
  4. Be key aware Some makes of ride-on mower have a keyless operating system.  If yours does not have this feature, always be sure to remove the key from the mower when it's not in use, just in case a child climbs on board for a 'pretend' drive and accidentally starts the machine.  
  5. Blade maintenance safety If you have to replace a blade, always remove the spark plug first.  This prevents the piston from being accidentally bumped into its power stroke, which could cause the blade to lurch forward, potentially causing injury to your hand.  
  6. Mowing direction Although most ride on mowers are designed with incorporated stability features, it's always safer to mow either up or down sloping ground.  This is because the mower is more likely to tip over sideways than backwards or forwards.  Slippery, wet grass can also cause all types of mowers to become unstable, so always mow your lawn when it is dry.

Keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe this summer by following the above tips for safer lawn mowing practices.  It's also a good idea to have your lawn mower serviced and safety checked by a professional contractor every year before its first use.