Lawn Mower Injury Prevention
Mowing the lawn. How dangerous can it be?
Very – as evidenced by the more than 200,000 Americans treated annually for lawn mower injuries.
Having personally assisted with numerous lawn mower injury causation claims, my advice for operating lawn machinery has always been to “obey all safety warnings whether they are placed on the lawn mower itself or included in the operation manual, even the warnings that seem trivial.”
Obvious risks of operating a lawn mower include:
- Personal injury as a result of projected debris
- Personal injury as a result of physical contact between mower blades and operator, which can sever limbs.
- Personal injury as a result of physical contact between the mower (non-bladed portion) and operator which can cause crushing, burning, etc.
Less obvious risks of operating a lawn mower include:
- Back pain associated with lifting and directing a push mower.
- Inhalation of toxic carbon monoxide vapors produced by gas or diesel-powered mowers when mowers are running in confined spaces, such as a closed garage or shed.
- Fires due to fuel leaks, shorted electrical wiring, or combustion of dried leaves and grass accumulated around a heated engine.
Even more important than pointing out risks, is pointing out prevention. Prevention in the form of prepping the lawn for mowing including clearing all debris (i.e. sticks, stones, tennis balls, etc.). Once the lawn is cleared of debris, it’s equally important to clear the general area of all bystanders, especially children, in the path of inadvertent flying debris. Studies have shown that even a small riding lawn mower can impart kinetic energy onto projected debris with up to three times the amount of muzzle energy as a .357 Magnum.
Want to learn more? Check out my article in this month’s Claim Management magazine, http://theclm.claimsmanagement.epubxp.com/i/77203.
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