The weather is getting warmer and spring is just around the corner. This is the time of year when we all dust off our yard care tools and do a little spring cleaning outside. While we are busy planting gardens and mowing the lawn many of us are completely unaware of the danger. Accidents happen when landscaping more than you may think and this spring you should think smart, think safe, and protect yourself from an unintentional injury.
According to a 1999 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report, approximately 75 people are killed and another 20,000 are injured each year while riding or near lawn mowers and tractors—and an estimated 20 percent of those deaths are children. The CPSC believes that most of the child deaths occur when the child gets in the path of a lawn mower. In a separate report from the CPSC they stated that in 2007 around 210,000 people were treated in emergency rooms and doctor’s offices for lawn mower injuries.
The CPSC former Chairman, Ann Brown explained in a press release that, “No parent wants their child to be one of these statistics. Young children move quickly and are attracted to mowing activity, but they don’t understand the dangers it poses. Parents should keep young children away from any outdoor power equipment.”
The Commission has implemented safety standards for lawn mowers and in the late 90’s after they were implemented they saw a significant decrease in lawn mower incidents, but since then it has become a less-known hazard. Consumers should always practice caution when using any power equipment, but especially when it is a lawn mower.
There are some safety measures you can follow to reduce the chance of you or your family being injured in an accident involving a lawn mower:
- Never let your child run around the yard while you are mowing.
- Do not allow your child to ride on your lap on a mower.
- Be alert of the movement of your child if they are in the yard, do not underestimate their speed and assume they are not near you.
- Do not allow your child to touch the lawn mower or other equipment. Many injuries occur when kids burn themselves on a hot piece of equipment or cut themselves on the tool.
- Be sure you know how to properly operate and stop a ride on mower before use.
- Wear proper clothing and protection.
- Before mowing, check your yard for any objects you may run over that could injure you or another.
- Do not work with power tools when conditions are wet or damp to avoid electrocution.
- Check your power cords and replace any that are worn or broken with exposed wires.
- Gas your equipment with caution and do not overfill.
- Make sure all of your tools are turned off and properly and securely stored after use.
This spring, protect yourself and your family by taking added caution when working with power tools and equipment.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcleod/149667103/
Richard Console writes for Console and Hollawell, NJ personal injury lawyers who have been assisting accident victims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1994.