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Lawnmower safety tips

June 20, 2018--10:00 a.m.

WEIS RADIO/AM 1180

Officials in neighboring Cherokee County, Alabama are urging lawnmower safety after two separate lawnmower related accidents happened over the past weekend. One of those accidents resulted in a fatality.

62-year old Lenoria Patterson was airlifted to Grady Hospital in Atlanta with serious injuries after a vehicle struck the lawnmower she was riding on Friday.

Then on Saturday, 62-year old William “Bill” Joseph Sullivan was fatally injured when he lost control of the zero turn mower, and then went down a culvert with the mower landing on top of him.

Cherokee County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton says lawn mower operators should exercise extreme caution when operating equipment on or near roadways and to consult with your owner’s manual on proper safety techniques for the particular equipment you’re operating, adding if your lawnmower has a roll bar, use it – even if you aren’t on a hill.

Also, when using equipment on a highway its best to have some sort of reflective vest or emblem on your equipment and on yourself.

The Alabama Department of Public Health also offers the following safety advice:

Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.

Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.

Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.

Young children should be at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.

Before mowing, pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.

Always wear eye and hearing protection.

Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.

Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.
Start and refuel mowers outdoors –not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.

Blade settings should be set by an adult only.

Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.

Avoid driving backwards unless absolutely required and should be exercised with extreme caution when necessary.

When purchasing a lawn mower, look for machines that have a forward control mechanism that stops the machine from moving if the handle is released.

Never use a riding lawnmower on slopes greater than 15 degrees or a 27% slope. This is almost the same as a drop of 3 feet over a distance of 10 feet.

When mowing a slope with a riding lawnmower, mow up and down and only turn around on level ground at the top of bottom of a hill.