The lawn forms an integral part of the great British garden. A lush patch of green which you can enjoy in the summer, perfect for playing games, idling, dining and more. But it does need some looking after, including a regular cut.
The best way of doing it, unless it really is a postage stamp, is with a lawnmower. These convenient gardening and landscaping tools make this big job so much easier, but they do come with a set of dangers that you need to be aware of.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has reported that lawnmowers are the most dangerous garden tools around causing around 6,500 accidents each year.
So, with this in mind, here are some top lawnmower safety tips for staying safe while your lawn looks great.
Wear the right clothes
As with any outdoor work, it’s not a good idea to do it in your Sunday best. And although it’s only grass, mowing can be a dirty business. So wear some old, tough clothes that cover up the skin. Long trousers will protect your legs from small stones that can get thrown out of the mower. You should also always wear gloves to protect your fingers and if it’s a loud mower, some ear protectors will look after your ears. Safety goggles are also a good idea.
Never think it’s a good idea to mow the lawn without some study shoes. With rotating blades or cutting devices close by, you need to make sure your toes and feet are protected. If you’ve seen the infamous lawnmower scene in Mad Men you’ll know exactly why.
Avoid wet grass
Not only is wet grass a slipping hazard, but if you’re using an electric mower, adding water into the mix is never a good idea.
Do it in the day
As with any potentially dangerous activity, light is your friend. So, do it when there’s still plenty of sunshine and daylight left. The darkness reduces visibility and increases the chance of accidents.
Push don’t pull
Make sure you are only pushing the mower, as this will increase the amount of control you have over it. It also means you’ll be walking forwards, reducing slip and trip hazards.
Use a trip adaptor
If you’re using an electric mower, make sure you’re using an RCD socket adaptor, which will cut the power if there is any electrical hazard, which includes severed cords.
Never use your hands
Never put your hands anywhere near the blade unless you are absolutely certain it is switched off or unplugged. And never put your hands underneath or anywhere where you can’t see them. If in doubt or the machine appears to be broken, take it to a professional to fix.
Watch the kids
Children and lawnmowers don’t mix. Make sure they are well out of the way when you start mowing the lawn and keep an eye on them or make sure they are at a safe distance at all times.
Survey the yard
Before you start, have a quick check of the lawn to make sure it’s free from hazards and potential trip and slip hazards. Move any large stones or sticks and make sure there is nothing of value lying in the grass. The lawnmower tends to win in fights with electrical goods and kids toys.
Follow all of the above advice and you can ensure a safe mowing experience and a great looking lawn.