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Along with summer comes lawn care. Most home owners or renters (also the kids trying to make extra money) will be putting in a lot a time to care for the lawn. Mowing, edging and lawn care in general can pose potential safety hazards. Here are a few tips to keep you safe!


  • Prepare lawn for mowing. Every time before you mow, check your lawn for items such as sticks, rocks, toys, sports equipment, dog bones, wire, and equipment parts. Make sure miscellaneous items are not hidden in tall grass. Also look for and remember immovable objects, such as pipes, or partially buried rocks. Running into a fixed object can shatter the mower blade and throw jagged chunks of metal out the discharge chute or under the housing.
  • Handle fuel with care. Always use care when filling the tank with gasoline. Wipe up spills. Never fill the tank on a mower that has been operating and is hot. Vapors from the gasoline can be ignited by a hot muffler.
  • Wear appropriate clothes. Close-fitting clothes are less likely to get caught on controls or moving parts. Long pants and sturdy leather shoes protect you from flying sticks, stones, or other items not caught by the rear guard. Shoes also should provide good traction. A canvas or open-toed shoe cannot protect your foot if it slips into the blade. When mowing for long periods of time or if noise is objectionable, wear hearing protection such as ear plugs.


  • Make sure other people, especially children, are out of the area. Young children should be supervised in the house while the yard is being mowed. They cannot understand the dangers, and the operator may not hear or see children approach.
  • Never point the discharge chute at anyone. You never know when something will be thrown from the mower. Never run the mower over gravel surfaces.
  • Do not mow wet grass. Wet grass is slippery and the operator can lose footing, slip under the mower, or allow the mower to roll backwards. Wet grass also clogs the discharge chute and can cause the engine to falter. When this happens, always turn off the engine and wait a few seconds for the blades to stop rotating before correcting it.
  • Use care on inclines. Some slopes are too steep to mow safely, so use good judgment. Always push walk-behind mowers across slopes to avoid coming in contact with the mower (e.g., by sliding down the hill onto the mower, or allowing the mower to roll backwards on top of operator). Drive riding mowers up and down slopes.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended. When you leave the operator's position the mower should be turned off. New models have an operator presence switch that automatically kills the engine when the operator releases the handle.
  • Disconnect spark plug to service. Disconnect the spark plug when you work on the mower. This prevents the engine from accidentally being started. Many people are hurt every year because mowers start unexpectedly when the blade is turned by hand. Keep all parts in working condition. Fluid leaks (gas or oil), blade sharpening, and balancing may require professional service.


Safety features on newer mowers help prevent hazardous situations that can lead to injury. Do not disconnect special features or controls to avoid using them.

Look for a shield on the back blade housing behind the rear wheels of the mower. This shield protects the operator's feet from exposure to the blade and thrown objects.

A dead-man switch, or operator presence switch, requires the operator to hold the device to keep the mower running. If for some reason the operator releases the switch, the engine is turned off. When placed at the correct location, the switch makes it physically impossible for an operator to hold the switch and reach down to the danger area where the blade is operating. Some switches also have a braking device that stops blade rotation.

Bare feet in the shower or bath tub you know, put shoes on when mowing and preserve your toe!!

Never mow bare foot.  Why?

  • You could slip (feet don't have great traction).
  • A rock, stick, or other unseen object could be thrown from the mower or the mower's chute and strike you or ricochet causing injury.