Throughout the summer months, the weekends buzz with the sound of lawnmowers as thousands up and down the land try to get to grips with overgrown lawns. Unfortunately, a fair number of them will end up in A&E department for their troubles. In the UK, about 300,000 people are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital. 110,000 of them are children. Around 87,000 are injured actively gardening or carrying out DIY jobs in the garden, according to RoSPA.
A man with a lawnmower is likely to be the most dangerous thing you’ll encounter in your garden, especially one who always knows best and is determined to tackle the lawn … whatever the conditions! Many of the mower accidents happen when people cut themselves cleaning the blades, while lots of people trip over flowerpots or are injured moving them.
Gardens are places where people want to relax and perhaps that’s why so many accidents happen there. Simple measures such as putting on gloves could prevent many of the cuts. Chemicals should be stored out of sight and out of reach of children and tools should always be tidied away after use.
Don’t take lawnmower safety for granted
- Read and follow your lawnmower manual. Learn the controls well enough to act instantly in an emergency and to stop the machine quickly.
- Store fuel in a safety can. Fill the mower outside, away from possible ignition sources. Before starting the mower, be sure it is on level ground and disengage all clutches.
- Always start the mower outdoors. Never operate the mower where carbon monoxide can collect, such as in a closed garage, storage shed or basement.
- Do not operate your electrically powered lawnmower on wet grass. Use an extension cord designed for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your mower. To reduce the risk of cutting the cord while you’re mowing, start in the area nearest the electrical outlet, then mow away from the outlet so the power cord will trail behind you.
- Make sure all safety guards are in place and keep the mower’s blades sharp. If you hit a foreign object or have a mower malfunction, turn off the mower and disconnect the power cord before inspecting for damage.
- Keep your hands and feet away from the mower’s blades. Never reach under the mower while the mower is operating and make all adjustments with the motor off.
- Safe footwear is important, especially with walk-behind mowers. Make sure your shoes provide good traction to reduce slipping and have sturdy soles to resist punctures. Never work barefoot or in sandals, canvas shoes, or other flimsy shoes. Wear strong trousers rather than shorts.
- Never leave a lawn mower “ON” while unattended. Curious children, eager to help, may get seriously injured.
- Keep your work area clear of children and pets. Mowers and trimmers can fling rocks out at up to 200 miles per hour.
- Do not allow children to operate lawnmowers.
If you found Men with lawnmowers: Safety tips to prevent a trip to A&E helpful, you’ll find more ways to enjoy summer in the garden on our Gardening channel.Last modified: July 2, 2023