The Risks Of Zero-Turn Lawnmowers

Many of my relatives and friends operate their zero-turn mowers in risky ways, endangering their families as well as themselves. Since I work in the grass care sector and have heard about other people getting hurt while mowing,

I see the value of becoming skilled at using mowers safely. I’m hoping that by sharing my mowing knowledge and safety advice, you may lessen the risks associated with zero-turn mowers and lower your chance of getting hurt.

Zero-turn lawnmowers can roll over when used on slopes, uneven terrain, next to water sources, and against retaining structures because they are engine-powered, move swiftly, turn quickly, and possess the ability to do so.

While executing a zero-turn, there are safety precautions you can take to significantly reduce your chance of harm. It doesn’t necessarily follow that zero-turn mowers are less risky than heavier equipment like trucks, skid steers, and loaders just because they look to be.

Although a machine’s zero turns smaller size may make it seem less daunting, whether it is a giant machine or a little machine, you must train yourself how to operate equipment properly.

Zero Turn Mowers

Consumers Of Mowers Go To The Hospital

The youngster of a friend of mine decided to leap off a moving lawnmower. As his child cried in agony, I can’t even begin to picture the terror. The young child eventually slipped, and his foot landed beneath the mower deck.

He lost a significant chunk of his foot to the blades. The boy must live with the injuries for the remainder of his life, and his father is in excruciating pain as a result of the circumstance. This harm may have been easily avoided.

How frequently have you observed a parent sitting a youngster on their lap while riding a lawnmower? I’ve witnessed this more frequently than I should have given that I live in a suburban region. Some parents disregard their children’s safety and treat it like an amusement park ride for them.

If only they were aware that lawn mower accidents are, according to the Amputee Coalition, the leading cause of pediatric amputations in children, they would take the appropriate safety measures.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that between 2012 and 2014, 35,000 customers received emergency department treatment for riding mower-related injuries.

Additionally, they stated that between 2008 and 2010, there were 90 consumer deaths annually on average that were due to riding mowers. The victim’s falling off the mower, sliding under it, or being run by the lawnmower were the main causes of death in several cases.

Lawn Mower Fatalities

In addition to countless injuries, using a lawn mower has been linked to 16 fatalities in 2019 and 19 fatalities in 2018, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). These are workplace accidents involving employees using lawn mowers.

Many of these workers were groundskeepers for commercial or governmental sites or professional landscape firms. The majority of fatalities were caused by rollovers when vehicles were driven too closely to embankments, near water, or on too steep terrain.

Other deaths occurred as a result of a lack of safety procedures. One person lost their life after being ran over by a mower with the blades in motion and being flung off of it.

The mower blades continued to turn even when the operator was not seated because operator presence indicators were either absent or perhaps disabled.

How To Use Safely Zero-Turn Mowers

  1. Avoid driving on hills with such a slope of more than 15 degrees. You run a higher risk of rolling your lawn mower when using it on steep hills. Never cross a hill; always proceed up and down its slope.
  2. Mow your lawn in dry weather only. Slopes should be avoided when the grass is moist. In rainy weather, the mower is more difficult to maneuver.
  3. Avoid any bodies of water. Maintain a distance of at least 5 feet from all water bodies. To avoid having to spend as much time using an alternative cutting technique to mow these regions, it is tempting to go as close to a body of water as you can.
  4. It’s preferable to be secure and avoid discovering your lawnmower submerged in water. Mow these sections with a push mower or a handheld trimmer.
  5. Avoid ditches, retaining walls, embankments, and any other abrupt changes in the landscape. Water bodies are subject to the same rule. Give the mower 5 feet of clearance from these objects.
  6. Avoid abrupt changes in direction or speed. Swift movements may cause a mower to become unstable or result in you relinquishing power of the zero-turn. Always keep your movements and speeds stable.
  7. Operate away from children, animals, and nearby people. Mower blades can throw items out of the output chute because of their rapid rotation.
  8. When left in the yard, rocks, stones, twigs, and other foreign objects have the potential to fly across the lawn and hurt anyone nearby. If someone walks into the area, halt the lawnmower.
  9. As material can bounce back toward the operator, avoid discharging it into a wall or other impediment.
  10. When not mowing, disengage the blades. In order to remove an impediment, branch, or other debris, you will frequently get off the mower. Each time you do this, be sure to stop the lawn mower and switch off the blades.
  11. When operating, put on safety gear. This includes hearing aids and safety eyewear. The level of noise of a fuel lawn mower is about 90 dB.
  12. For persons who are exposed to this level of noise, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises wearing hearing protection.
  13. Wear the seatbelt that comes with the mower, and utilize the rollover protection structures (ROPS). Either a fixed ROPS system or a folding ROPS is required for your lawn mower.
  14. You might occasionally need to fold over your foldable ROPS or remove a fixed ROPS temporarily to access spaces with low-hanging overhead impediments or obstacles.
  15. Reinstall your ROPS system as soon as you are away from regions with overhead impediments. To keep people safe, the seat belt and ROPS system must be used together.
  16. In the case of a rollover, this device keeps the operator from becoming harmed or getting stuck under the mower. Please be aware that you shouldn’t use a seatbelt if you have to fold over or remove your ROPS.
  17. Never let someone ride along on your lawnmower. When you need to mow your lawn and there is no extra supervision, it can be tempting to let your kid sit on your lap.
  18. The best thing to do is delay cutting your grass until you have someone to supervise your child.
  19. Always work during daytime hours.
  20. Keep an eye on your zero-turn lawnmower at all times. Put the parking brake on, release the blades, shut off the engine, and take the key.
  21. Don closed-toed footwear. Never operate electric equipment while wearing sandals.

Every Mower Must Be Equipped With Safety Features

Make absolutely sure your zero-turn mower has these crucial safety features implemented before you buy your next mower.

  • The seat safety switch is also known as the operator presence control system. When the user is not seated, this device turns off the blades.
  • System for Rollover Protection (ROPS). To prevent the operator from being crushed in the case of a rollover, there is a crossbar above the utilization efficiency. The ROPS is only effective when this is used with a seatbelt.
  • Belt in. The ROPS system requires the usage of a seatbelt.
  • When necessary, add weights or wheel weights. When using counterweights or wheel weights, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When using a bagger system with a rear mount, it is frequently required.
  • Tall seat back To prevent movement in your seat, make sure your zero-turn vehicle has a firm seat back.

Before Mowing The Lawn, Use This Quick Safety Checklist

  • Before cutting, remove any sticks, pebbles, toys, and other impediments.
  • Keep humans and animals away from the mowing zone.
  • Make absolutely sure the ROPS bar is standing up.
  • Seatbelts function.
  • Make that the blades are not broken or fractured, since this could cause a piece to break off and fly out of the mower deck. Find out more information about inspecting mower blades here.

When Can A Child Begin Mowing The Lawn?

Children must be least 12 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, to operate a stroll push mower. The group advises against letting children use a riding mower until they are at least 16 years old.

The ages given are a general guideline. As parents, you are aware of your child’s development and when they are ready to operate machinery safely.

A child must be capable to actually operate the mower, observe rules and safety precautions, and be able to follow instructions. At these recommended ages, some parents might believe their child is just not ready to mow. That’s alright.

Make absolutely sure you go over all safety precautions, including the risks of crawling under the deck with the mower blades engaged, once you feel your youngster is capable of operating a lawn mower.

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