With the start of spring, the sight and sound of lawn mowers on our school grounds becomes a common occurrence. And with the increased frequency of this task comes both the possibility of bodily injury and damage to property.

To avoid injury the operator of the mower must:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of the equipment
  • Be thoroughly familiar with the controls and proper use of the mower before starting it
  • Make sure the proper guards, plates, grass catcher or other safety devices are in place before starting the mower
  • Keep people clear of discharge opening(s)
  • Keep people’s hands and feet clear of rotating parts
  • Clear the area of objects such as rocks, toys, wire, bones, sticks, etc., which could be picked up and thrown by the blade
  • Make sure to stop the engine before: (a) Leaving the equipment; (b) Unclogging the grass discharge chute; (c) Cleaning the mower
  • Wear safety goggles or safety glasses with side shields when operating the mower
  • Wear substantial footwear when operating a walk-behind mower
  • Wear hearing protection when mowing
  • Shut off the engine before and during refueling
  • Drive up and down slopes when operating a riding mower. Mow across the slope when using a walk-behind mower

To avoid property damage incidents:

  • Inspect school grounds prior to mowing for debris and other hazards
  • Remove debris from grounds so that it doesn’t become a projectile
  • Avoid having the mower discharge chute turned in the direction of people, homes, streets or vehicles as much as possible
  • Avoid using trimmers near people, homes, streets or vehicles
  • Avoid running a mower over graveled areas
  • Consider mowing and trimming during off times in congested areas

With mowing operations comes risk. By following these tips, you can keep yourself and others safe from injury.