By Bob Colichio
Each year, approximately 75,000 people are injured seriously enough by lawnmowers to require
emergency room medical treatment. Only a small percentage of the injuries are caused by mechanical
failure; most are the result of human error.
Here onsite there was an incident with a large ride-on lawn mower where it slowly rolled onto its
side while being used to mow a berm (small hillside) north of the Building 911 employee parking lot.
The operator avoided injury by stepping off the machine as it continued to slowly roll over onto its side.
Here are some other tips to follow before and while mowing your lawn:
Become familiar with your mower.
Read the owner’s manual before using the mower for the first time. Note all safety and operating
instructions. Learn the controls well enough to act instantly in an emergency and to stop the
Proper clothing is essential to protect your body from harm.
Always wear non-slip shoes instead of tennis shoes or sandals. Steel-toe safety footwear offers
the most protection against the blade. Long pants help protect your legs from objects that may be
thrown from under the mower. Use ear plugs to prevent hearing loss caused by exposure to the high
Police the area.
Before you start mowing, be sure the lawn is free of tree limbs, rocks, wires and other debris,
which can get caught up in the blades or become a projectile.
The main source of danger is the blade.
To perform its task efficiently, the mower blade must be sharp and travel at a high speed.
If a hand or foot gets under the mower while the engine is running, it can cause serious injury.
Never attempt to unclog or work on a lawnmower while the engine is on.
Disconnect the sparkplug wire.
Any time it is necessary to reach under the mower, disconnect the spark plug wire to insure that
the engine cannot start. It takes a little extra time, but not as long as it does to recover from
a serious injury.
Last Modified: May 18, 2009
Please forward all questions about this site to: