AN INSTRUCTION GUIDE TO
A large number of people (more than 7,000 annually) are injured in grass cutting related accidents.
Knowing and observing a few basic precautions will greatly enhance your ability to cut grass without injuring yourself or a bystander.
Oftentimes, we make the mistake of beginning tasks feeling confident that we know all the rules of safety. Yet, we do not practice the relevant rules of safety. This can result in a simple accident or major tragedy. Stay alert and do not become a victim of carelessness and misfortune.
You are accountable for your safety, as well as the safety of others. So, please read this guide to mowing carefully…and do not take these rules and instructions for granted.
BE CAREFUL, OUT THERE!!!
COMMON SAFETY PRACTICES
FOR ALL MOWERS, WEED EATERS & BLOWERS
- ALWAYS WEAR STURDY, ROUGH SOLED WORK SHOES OR BOOTS AND CLOSE FITTING SLACKS AND SHIRTS.
- ALWAYS INSPECT AND CLEAR THE AREA BEFORE MOWING: RAKE AWAY WIRES, CANS, ROCKS AND TWIGS BEFORE YOU START MOWING.
- ALWAYS WEAR HEARING PROTECTION WHEN USING ALL LAWN CUTTING EQUIPMENT. THE NOISE LEVEL CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEARING.
- ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES/GLASSES. REMEMBER THAT MANY MOWING ACClDENTS RESULT IN EYE INJURIES.
- NEVER PUT YOUR HANDS OR FEET NEAR MOVING PARTS, ESPECIALLY BLADES, WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING.
- KEEP OTHER PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY SMALL CHILDREN AND PETS, AWAY FROM THE MOWING AREA.
- DO NOT PERFORM PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING.
- NEVER LEAVE A RUNNING MOWER UNATTENDED.
- MIX AND POUR FUEL OUTDOORS AND IN AREAS WHERE THERE ARE NO SPARKS OR FLAMES.
- ONLY USE A CONTAINER WHICH HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR HOLDING OR TRANSPORTING FUEL.
- DO NOT SMOKE OR ALLOW SMOKING NEAR FUEL OR WHILE REFUELING.
- WIPE UP ALL FUEL SPILLS BEFORE STARTING ANY ENGINE.
- STOP THE ENGINE BEFORE REMOVING THE FUEL CAP.
THE USE OF POWER MOWERS
The two greatest hazards of using power mowers are: (1) being struck by debris hurled by the mower; and (2) coming into contact with the cutting blade (which can spin as fast as 200 miles per hour).
The initial step in protecting yourself from these hazards is to read the instruction manual before you begin mowing. It pays to be as familiar as possible with the functions and controls of the machine. This can save time as well as prevent other problems for you while you are mowing.
Do not try to cut the grass when conditions are not safe. It is best not to mow after daylight hours or when the grass is wet and slippery. Wet grass invites slips and falls that can result in injury.
Do not begin the job without first clearing away all sticks, stones, wire and other debris from the area to be mowed. Set the blade high enough that it does not throw excessive amounts of debris. This is especially important when cutting grass on rough terrain or unleveled ground.
Start the mower on clear, dry, level and firm ground. Using a walk behind (or push) mower, make sure your footing is solid as you start the engine.
KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE MOWING AREA. Many victims of power mower accidents are bystanders who are struck by debris. Never leave a lawn mower unattended while the engine is running.
Never put hands or feet near moving parts, especially blades, while the engine is in operation. Do not make wheel adjustments while the engine is running; it is too easy for you to make a move that would bring your hand in contact with the blade (thereby cutting your hand).
Move slowly through tall grass to avoid stalling or clogging the mower. If the mower does become clogged, please turn off the power before clearing the debris. When cleaning, repairing or inspecting a gasoline powered mower, disconnect the spark plug wire. A hot gasoline engine can start on its own accord if the spark plug is connected.
With a push/walk behind mower, cut sideways across slopes and banks. This gives you better control of the mower than if you were to cut up and down the slope.
Be aware of fire hazards. If the mower runs out of fuel, wait until the engine cools before refueling. Allow the mower to cool before storing/putting it away.
Many of the rules that apply to walk behind (push) mowers pertain to riding mowers as well. The same hazards–flying debris and contact with the blade–exist. In addition, riding mowers are capable of tipping over.
Since tipping or losing control is a greater hazard with riding mowers, you need to take special care to avoid dips and chuckholes. Make sure, as well, that you reduce speed on slopes and before making half turns. And, do not attempt to make turns on slopes.
Because of the tipping hazard, do not mow sideways across slopes. Instead, cut your swaths directly up and down the slope.
Never carry passengers.
This unit is a precision piece of power equipment, not a plaything. Therefore exercise extreme caution at all times.
Know the controls and how to stop the machine quickly and correctly!!
Check overhead clearance carefully before driving under power lines, guy wires, bridges or lowhanging tree branches, before entering or leaving buildings, or in any other situation (which could result in serious injury), perhaps where the operator may be struck or pulled from the unit.
To maintain control of the unit and reduce the possibility of upset or collision, operate the tractor smoothly. Avoid erratic operation and excessive speed.
Stop the blade(s) when crossing gravel drives, walks or roads.
Disengage all attachment clutches and shift into neutral before attempting to start the engine.
Before leaving the operator’s position, disengage blade(s), place the mower on level ground, and shift into neutral. Engage the parking brake, shut off the engine and remove the key.
Watch out for traffic when you need to cross or are near roadways.
The mower and attachments should be stopped and inspected for damage after striking a foreign object. The damage should be repaired before restarting and operating the equipment.
WEED EATER GRASS TRIMMER
Always wear a safety face shield or safety glasses.
Wear heavy, long pants, boots and gloves. Do not wear loose clothing, jewelry, short pants, sandals or go barefoot. Secure hair so it is above shoulder length. Being fully covered will help protect you from pieces of toxic plants such as poison ivy thrown by the trimmer head, which could be more of a hazard than touching the plant itself.
Do not operate the tool when you are tired, ill or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
Wear hearing protection.
Never start or run the engine inside a closed room or building. Breathing exhaust fumes can kill.
Inspect the entire tool before each use for damaged parts, fuel leaks and all fasteners are in place and secure.
Make sure the trimmer head is properly installed and securely fastened.
Always keep engine on the right hand side of your body.
Hold the tool firmly with both hands.
Keep firm footing and balance. Do not over reach.
Keep trimmer head below waist level.
Do not raise the engine above your waist. The trimmer head can come dangerously close to your body.
Keep all parts of your body away from the trimmer head and muffler when engine is running.
Hand carry the tool with the engine stopped and the muffler away from your body.
Never use blades with a trimmer designed for the trimmer use only.
Remember trimmer line can throw objects violently. The HAZARD ZONE IS 60 FEET. Keep people and animals a minimum of 30 feet away. Others can be blinded or injured.
Be sure you understand how to operate the unit before you use it. Read the operator’s manual carefully.
Wear non skid sole shoes. DO NOT WEAR OPEN-TOED SHOES OR OPERATE UNIT WHILE BAREFOOTED.
Wear proper clothing to protect legs and other exposed parts of the body.
WEAR EYE, BREATHING AND HEARING PROTECTION DEVICES. Make sure eye protection meets safety requirements. Wear hearing protection at all times. Hearing loss can occur, if guidelines are not followed. Wear a filter mask to avoid breathing dust. If you have allergies, ask for a different job.
Carefully inspect the area where the blower will be used. Remove stones, metal objects and any other object that could cause injury or damage the blower.
Do not allow other persons or animals in the area when starting or using the blower.
DO NOT POINT BLOWER PIPE IN THE DIRECTION OF PEOPLE OR ANIMALS. THE BLOWER IS DANGEROUS AS FAR AWAY AS THE DISTANCE OF UP TO 50 FEET.
KEEP A FIRM GRIP ON THE BLOWER AT ALL TIMES.
Operate the blower at the lowest possible throttle setting that gets the job done.
Check air intakes and air filter to make sure the blower is working properly. Make sure the muffler works well, also.
Wear non slip, heavy, work gloves to improve your grip. The gloves also help to reduce the transmission of vibrations to your hands. LIMIT THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF OPERATION. Let your hands recover occasionally from the vibration, by taking frequent breaks and doing vigorous arm exercises.
Use the full nozzle extension so the air stream is close to the ground. This helps to keep the dust down.