Lawn Mower Accidents – Always Be Safe!!

There are approximately 180,000 lawnmower accidents per year. In this introductory presentation, we undertake to describe the various ways in which these accidents occur.

There are two general types of power lawnmowers: the walk-behind type, in which the user guides the mower by means of his hold on the push-bar at the rear, and the riding type, in which the operator sits on the mower and controls its operation from that position. The walk-behind type is generally propelled by the user, but in some machines is propelled by the same engine that drives the cutting blade. In the latter case there is provided some form of clutch/shift arrangement to allow separate control of the cutting blade and the propulsion of the mower. The riding type is invariably propelled by the same engine that drives the cutting blade, again with suitable provision for separate control of the blade and the propulsion. In many cases there is also provided means for running the engine alone, which enables the engine to be started, and warmed up or adjusted, without involving the cutting blade or the propulsion mechanism.

The leading cause of lawnmower accidents is contact with its rotating blade. While the danger from this cause may seem obvious, it is an established fact that people will place their fingers near the blade, generally in an attempt to clear away a clump of grass or other undesired matter. Most of these accidents occur when the person reaches under the “skirt” of the mower, or reaches into the discharge chute.

Another cause of accidents is the throwing of objects, such as small stones, by the blade. The tip of the blade can be moving as fast as 200 miles per hour, and can project small, hard objects as far as 50 feet. These objects can travel in any direction, depending on the angle at which the blade encounters them, and can injure nearby persons including the operator himself.

Again, the operator or a nearby person may slip in such a way that his foot enters under the skirt of the mower and contacts the rotating blade, with readily foreseeable results.

Burns may occur as a result of a person touching a hot surface of the exhaust system of the engine of the mower. In addition, fires can result when there is leakage of gasoline for any reason, and the gasoline vapor is ignited by a spark from the ignition system of the engine (including the battery, if there is one), or by an abnormally hot surface of the exhaust system. Injury can also result from contact with an inadequately shielded part of the propulsion system, such as a sprocket wheel or gearing.

The remaining causes of injury apply only to riding type mowers. One of these causes is the potential instability of such a mower, which may cause it to overturn under certain conditions. The overturned mower can fall on the operator; or it may cause rupture of the gasoline tank, with consequent danger of fire: or it may lead to contact of the rotating blade with the operator.

Because of the operator’s limited visibility to the rear, a riding mower may be subject to back-over accidents, in which the mower runs over a child or other person while going in reverse. The likelihood of back-over accidents is increased by the fact that the noise of the mower makes it harder for the operator to hear the warning cry of a person behind him.

Finally, the mower may stall while climbing up a steep hill, and the brakes may not be strong enough to hold the mower on the hill or allow it to descend gently, with the result that the mower plummets down the hill, and crashes into a tree or other obstacle, or else overturns.

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  1. Bowser Ball 2

    Hey this is a great post . Can I use a portion of it on my website ? I would obviously link to your site so people could read the full post if they wanted to. Thanks either way.

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  3. Hipolito M. Wiseman

    How to Start a Push Lawn Mower
    This is how to, in general, start a push lawn mower that runs on gasoline. Obviously, how to start your individual lawn mower may vary according to what brand and model of lawn mower you have.
    1. Make sure you have enough motor oil in your mower. Usually there is a cap on top of the mower body, smaller than the gas cap, that says "oil" or something similar. The cap will probably have an oil gauge attached, so check the oil as you would in a car, that is, judge the level of oil on the gauge against the depth of the reservoir (the length of the gauge).
    2. Make sure you have enough gasoline. There should be a clearly labeled cap on the gas tank. If you open it, you should be able to look down into the tank and see the approximate level. Add more (preferably using a funnel) if needed.
    3. Locate the prime button, usually red or black, a squishy button somewhere on the mower’s body. Push it between 3 and 4 times in order to force the gasoline into the lines.
    4. You may need to pull and hold a starting lever (a safety feature), or the lawnmower will not start no matter what you do.
    5. Brace your arm holding the starting lever, and pull upward on the pull cord, which you should find on top of the mower body. You may have to do this several times before the motor starts up.
    6. If you are still unable to get your mower started, try the lawnmower inspection and troubleshooting steps at How to Repair a Lawnmower.

  4. Alprazolam

    oh cool, this information is really useful and definately is comment worthy! hehe. I’ll see if I can try to use some of this information for my own blog. Thanks!

  5. jeff *

    Warm season grasses do always grow at their peak in the hottest parts of summer. Bahai, buffalo, st. augustine ect. handles droughts alot better than the cool season grasses. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Turf Supplies

    While we’re discussing things in the vicinity of Lawn Mower Accidents – Always Be Safe!! L & L Lawn Care – Altoona PA, In general all warm season grasses have great abilities to handle drought, particularly compared to water hungry cool season grasses such as Fescues and Rye Grass.

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