The warm days of summer are in full swing! Summer also means trimming the lawn around our homes and businesses. As you do yard work outside this summer, please keep in mind the dangers of using lawn mowers and weed trimmers. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries from lawn mowers total more than 70,000 per year.
What steps can you take to reduce your exposure to either sudden or long term injuries? The first and most commonly overlooked step is to review your owner’s manuals. Most manuals provide information on how to prepare the lawn, the equipment and yourself prior to starting equipment.
Before you mow, pick up objects that may have found their way into your yard. Make sure toys, sticks, rocks and any other debris are cleared from the area. Send your children in the house as well. The revolving blades of a mower can throw objects at speeds of 200 miles per hour. Make sure your equipment is in proper working condition. Did you remember to change the oil and put fresh gasoline in the tank? Did you check the blade to make sure it is tight and has no nicks or cracks?
After the yard and equipment is ready, it’s time to think about you. Safety equipment isn’t just for the construction or manufacturing worker any more. Long pants, close-fitting clothes, sturdy shoes, hearing protection and safety glasses should be worn. OSHA lists the decibel levels of most home lawn mowers at 95 to 100 dB and weed trimmers at up to 105 dB. Properly selected and proper use of hearing protection can reduce the likelihood of hearing loss. Safety glasses or face shields are also highly recommended while performing yard work. Keep those eyes protected so you can enjoy the beautiful sights of Summer.
The IMT Loss Control Department is available to provide additional information on this topic or any other safety related topic. Please contact your local IMT Agent or the Loss Control Department if we can be of assistance.
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