Walk-Behind Mowers Safety
The smell of fresh cut grass and the look of a well-manicured lawn are part of the pride of ownership. At MTD, we are committed to your well-being and safety when operating our equipment. Our products are of the highest quality, provide various features depending on your lawn care needs and adhere to the highest safety standards as set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The walk-behind mower category includes reel mowers, push mowers, self-propelled mowers, electric mowers and battery powered mowers. Reel mowers are the easiest mowers to operate since they are human-powered. But reel mowers may not be a viable option for those with large yards. For most consumers, a combustion engine-powered push mower or self-propelled mower is used for their lawn care needs. It is important that you read the Operator’s Manual that accompanies your product and understand the safety rules for the equipment you’re using at the beginning of each season.
Kids and Mowers Don't Mix
Keep Kids Safe.
Accidents can happen without warning, particularly if you don't see a child approaching the mower. Children should not be allowed in the yard or near the mower when it is in use. Never allow children less than 14 years of age to operate a walk-behind mower. Children 14 years of age and over should read and understand the instructions and safe operation practices found in your operator's manual and should be trained and supervised by an adult.
Here are important lawn mower safety tips we've compiled in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other safety and health experts.
- Children should not be allowed in the yard or near the mower when it is in use.
- Never allow children less than 14 years of age to operate a walk-behind mower. Children 14 and over should read and understand the instructions and safe operation practices found in your operator’s manual and should be trained and supervised by an adult.
- Check that the lawn mower guards and shields are functional and that these safety devices are in place and working. Never operate the mower with damaged safety devices.
- The blade control handle is a safety device. Never attempt to bypass its operation. Doing so makes this safety device inoperative and may result in personal injury through contact with the rotating blade. The blade control handle must operate freely in both directions and automatically return to the disengaged position when released.
- Do not remove any safety devices on the mower. Remember that the safety features were installed to reduce the risk of injury. Check all safety devices before each use and repair or replace immediately, if needed.
- Fill the fuel tank before starting the engine. Never fuel the mower when it is running or while the engine is hot. Let the engine cool for at least 2 minutes before re-fueling.
- Before starting your mower, check your lawn for foreign objects that may be picked up and thrown by the blade i.e. sticks, stones, etc. Thrown objects can cause mower-related injuries.
- Set the wheel height prior to starting the engine.
- When using a walk-behind mower, wear sturdy shoes with sure-grip soles to avoid slipping, shirts and pants that cover the arms and legs and safety glasses or safety goggles during each operation and/or maintenance. Never operate your mower in bare feet, canvas shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
- Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts or under the cutting deck of the mower. Contact with blades can amputate fingers, hands, toes and feet.
- Slopes are a major factor related to slip and fall accidents which can result in severe injury. If your lawn slopes, mow across the slope with the walk-behind mower, never up and down. Watch for holes, ruts, rocks, hidden objects, or bumps which can cause you to slip or trip. If the slope you are trying to mow is greater than 15 degrees, DO NOT mow it. Consider an alternative to grass in these cases, such as growing ground covers.
- If your lawnmower clogs, never use your hands to clear the blockage, even if the mower is shut off. Always use a stick or other tool.
- Never pull a mower back toward you while you are walking. If you need to back the mower away from a wall or obstacle first look down and behind to avoid tripping then step back from the mower to fully extend your arms. Be sure you are well balanced with sure footing. Pull the mower back slowly, no more than half way towards you. Repeat these steps as needed.
- With an electric mower, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection should be provided on the circuit(s) or outlet(s) to be used for the lawn mower. Receptacles are available having built-in GFCI protection and may be used for this measure of safety.
- To prevent electric shock, use your electric mower with a UL listed extension cord set suitable for outdoor use, such as Type SW-A, SOW-A, STW-A, STOW-A, SJW-A, SJOW-A, SJTW-A, or SJTOW-A. A polarized extension cord and polarized outlet is required to fit the polarized plug on the mower.
- With an electric mower, organize your work so you first cut the area nearest the electrical outlet, then gradually move away. This will minimize chances of your running over the power cord and being electrocuted.
- If you cut grass with a pre-standard (models prior to 1982) walk-behind mower, use extreme caution. Remember that these machines do not have the safety features of new equipment and do not meet Consumer Product Safety Commission Standards.