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Lawn Care Safety

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Over the past 10 years, a national survey of US emergency rooms reported more than 26,000 home lawn and garden injuries per month.  Injuries include amputations, burns, nerve damage, broken bones, cuts and bruises.

Gear such as garden hoses, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, pruning shears, wheelbarrows and chainsaws cause nearly 3/4 of the injuries.  However, about 11% of injuries connected to lawn mowers required hospitalization while only about 7% of other lawn and garden equipment led to a hospital stay.


Before you start working in the yard, take time to do basic maintenance to ensure your equipment operates safely for the season.  Make sure you understand how to properly operate new tools as well.   Read the instructions....sometimes it's painful, but not "hospitalization" painful.   

Invest in your tools. Keep them clean and replace any worn out parts.  The cost of a minor fix on a lawn mower is worth it when you consider the average lawn mower accident costs over $37K in medical care. 

Wear proper protective gear such as safety goggles, gloves, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and closed-toe shoes. Don’t mow your lawn in flip-flops or barefoot, obviously.

Take a break. Working in the lawn or garden when you’re worn out can lead to mental mistakes that cause injuries, so it’s important to take time out to rest and hydrate.

Staying hydrated is important, but no alcohol please.  It may be tempting to cool down from the yard work with a cold beer, but staying hydrated and clear-headed is important while working with garden tools. Drink plenty of water when working outside and save the beer for after all of your work is done for the day.

Before you begin working with power equipment, remove objects such as sticks, glass, metal, wire and rocks from the area where you’re working to avoid causing injuries or damaging equipment.

Don’t let a child hop on or operate a garden tractor or riding mower. Also, make sure kids are indoors when outdoor power equipment is in use.  A child should be at least 12 years old before being allowed to operate a walk-behind mower and 16 years old before being permitted to drive a riding mower.

Let someone else do your yard work for you if you’re older and at higher risk of injury.  At any age, if you don’t want to run the risk of injury, hire someone else to mow your yard, clean your gutters and prune your trees. Ask a loved one, a family friend or a neighbor to help out in the yard. Or hire a lawn care service.

Take time to enjoy your yard all year round, but be smart and safe about it!