21 Important Ride on Mowers Safety Tips: All You Need To Know
Whether you use ride on mowers as part of your professional work, or just use them at home to take care of the backyard, there are some important safety considerations you should keep in mind before getting to work.
In the United States, 75000 people yearly are injured while operating lawnmowers, while injuries have also been documented in Australia.
However, by choosing a high-quality ride on mower from an Australian company and sticking to the following safety tips, you can ensure you stay safe while getting the job done.
Always go for a well-known local supplier or manufacturer of ride on mowers. Cutting costs by looking for cheap imports online cannot guarantee quality and peace of mind. Lawnmowers need to be made to Australian Standard AS 3792.1, which is the benchmark to determine whether a lawnmower is safe to operate. Only trust authorised dealers to buy any kind of machinery.
Try to find a lawnmower that is designed in a way where the blades stop operating when the mower is reversing. Children are most at risk of being struck by a lawnmower, so if the lawnmower has this added reversing safety feature, you avoid serious damage.
If buying second-hand, make sure to have the lawnmower inspected by an authorised dealer. Second-hand lawnmowers may be outdated or may not have been maintained at a sufficient level.
Have your lawnmower serviced regularly, particularly if it is old. A good time for servicing is at the start of a season when you require your lawnmower after a long time of not using it.
Only allow trained individuals to operate the ride on lawnmower, while wearing protective items such as helmets. Ride on lawnmowers should not be used as toys by children or be used to take children for a joy ride, so ensure that your children are aware of the risks. The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne suggests that only children ages 16 and up should be able to operate a ride on lawnmower.
Thoroughly read through the manual before operating to ensure you understand all safety mechanisms and can quickly act if anything were to go wrong.
Avoid mowing over bumpy or uneven ground, and clear any debris before beginning mowing. Never mow across gravel, as it may ricochet back at you.
Ensure that children and pets are not in the area, and are preferably inside the home, when mowing.
Always drive slowly and do not rush the job. Take care when turning or going around corners.
Never ride across slopes, as you could easily topple. Always drive up and down slopes instead. Do not mow on slopes that are more than 15 degrees.
Like with a car, always check behind you before reversing. Children and animals could easily be missed if you do not do a thorough head check.
Turn off the blades completely if getting off the mower, even if you’re quickly hopping off to clear something off the ground. Not doing so is when the most accidents happen.
Flying debris could also be a risk when it comes to ride on mowers. Wear goggles, hearing protection and any other personal protective equipment. Even the clothing you wear is important: wear long pants and sturdy, steel-capped boots, as loss of toes is one of the leading injuries associated with lawnmowers.
When removing debris from the lawnmower, always use some sort of tool or stick, and never your hands or feet.
Only add fuel before running your lawnmower, and never while it is running or hot.
Always remove the ignition key when finished, and put it somewhere safe to prevent children from starting up the lawnmower.
Like with any other vehicle, never operate a ride on mower when intoxicated.
Avoid distractions when using your lawnmower. This includes not listening to music or using your phone.
Never tinker with any safety devices like the discharge chute cover, safety interlocks or belt guards. Ensure that they are in place and working, and never remove or disable any of them.
Never cut grass when it is damp: this creates a slip hazard for your lawnmower.
Never leave the motor running when not in use. Runaway lawnmowers are a leading cause of injury.
Safety should be your key concern when operated a ride on mower, regardless of whether you’re a professional with years of experience, or a homeowner taking care of a small patch of grass.