Summer Yard Work Safety Tips

Written by: Ken Selander Category: Personal Injury, Safety

For many homeowners and gardeners, a new year means a new round of lawn care. Lawnmowers, line trimmers, and even chainsaws are put to use to kick off gardening season—but for some unfortunate homeowners and yard warriors, the new spring can bring a trip to the emergency room. The folks at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Harborview Injury Prevention have some safety tips to help gardeners make sure that only the grass and shrubs get a little “taken off the top.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that these safety tips apply to more than just mom and dad: lawnmowers account for 46% of traumatic injuries to children under 5. Here are some tips for using lawnmowers and line trimmers.

Lawnmowers (40,000 ER visits annually nationwide)

-Be alert for rocks, sticks, and other debris in the lawn that could be shot into the air by your lawnmower’s spinning blade.

-Wear jeans and close-toe shoes to protect your legs and feet.

-On hills, know your lawnmower: for riding mowers, mow up and down slopes to avoid tip-overs; for push mowers, do the opposite to maintain control. For really steep slopes or ditches, use a line trimmer instead.

-Never allow older kids to use the lawnmower without your direct supervision and keep younger kids out of the yard while you mow.

-No touching! Institute a “no touch” rule to keep kids from getting burns from the law mower’s hot parts and never let them ride the lawnmower as a passenger.

Line Trimmers (1,500 ER visits annually nationwide)

-The spinning line can release tiny nylon fragments that spin off at high speeds; wear eye protection and keep those jeans and close-toe shoes on that you wore while mowing.

See for additional summer safety tips.