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Lawn Mower Safety: Remind Your Grounds Crew

Education, Property & Casualty

Kids are coming back to the school playground. Fall sports teams are taking the field. Now is a good time to remind your school building operations staff and grounds crew to avoid mowing when children are present.

Each year, an estimated 9,000 children in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for lawn mower related injuries according to Children’s Wisconsin. At home, we know that it’s important to know where our children are before we start to mow the lawn. Schools should take precautions, too.

Lawn Mower Safety Measures for Schools to Consider

Operationally:

  • Rocks, glass, or wire can be picked up by lawn mower blades and hurled at speeds above 170 miles per hour. Objects may be thrown for distances up to 50 feet or more causing death and injuries ranging from blindness to severe bruising. (University of Arkansas)
  • Do you outsource mowing operations?
  • What other properties are adjacent to your playgrounds?
  • Who determines what time of day is ok to mow?

Remind grounds crew:

  • Keep an eye out for items in the grass, like rocks, sticks or metal pieces that the mower might send flying.
  • Check all mowers for protective guards, shields, and safety equipment and that the mower is in good working condition.
  • Those operating the mower should wear sturdy shoes, hearing protection and goggles and avoid loose clothing.
  • Use caution when mowing near trees or other items that might block your view.
  • Use extra caution when mowing a slope. Mow up and down, not across to avoid tipping over.
  • Additional safety tips from healthychildren.org:
    • Stop the engine and allow it to cool before refueling
    • Always turn off the mower and wait for blades to stop completely before: crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas, removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, and walking away from the mower.
  • Always be aware of children in the area and do not allow them within 50 feet of where you are mowing.

Remind children:

  • Lawn mowers can be dangerous and the person operating the mower cannot hear them or see them if they are behind the mower.
  • Accidents can happen quickly and result in severe injury.

Key Takeaways

Unfortunate accidents and injuries can be caused when lawn mowers operate and children are present. This school year, remind your grounds crew and building operations staff about the risk management and safety measures listed above in order to mitigate risk for your students, staff, and district. Please reach out to your M3 account executive with any questions you may have about your current mowing practices.

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