Lawnmower Safety

In 2010, more than 235,000 adults and 17,000 children in the U.S. were injured by lawnmowers according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Lawnmower injuries can range from minor burns and cuts to broken bones and amputations. Protect your hands while using your lawnmower this season by following our tips. 

Types of Lawnmower Injuries

  • Cuts: Cuts can occur anywhere on the body but most often occur on the hands and feet from the sharp blades.
  • Burns: The hot engine, gas tank or exhaust of a lawnmower can cause burns.
  • Missile Injuries: A variety of injuries may be caused by items, such as wires or loose objects in the lawn, being thrown from the spinning blades.
  • Fractures (Broken Bones): The rotating blades of a mower can cause broken bones if you come in contact with them
  • Amputations: The sharp blades of a mower can amputate part of an arm, leg, hand or foot.  Burns, cuts and fractures can be so severe that the injured part of the body requires amputation to prevent infection and further complications.

How to Prevent Lawnmower Injuries 

  • Read your mower's instruction manual prior to use.
  • Keep your mower in good working order with sharp blades. Only use a mower that has protection over hot and sharp parts. 
  • Pick up potential flying objects, such as stones, toys and debris, before you start mowing.
  • Wear goggles, hearing protection, gloves and long pants. Always wear sturdy close-toed shoes while mowing the lawn.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use other substances before or while using your lawnmower.
  • Do not remove safety devices or guards on switches.
  • Never insert hands or feet into the mower to remove grass or debris. Even with the motor turned off, the blade can still be spinning. Use a stick or broom handle instead.
  • Never lift a mower by the bottom for transport; the blades can cut fingers even if they are not moving.
  • Never cut grass when it is wet or damp.
  • Never allow children under age 12 to operate a push mower or those under 16 to drive a riding mower. Keep children off the lawn while mowing, and never have a passenger on your riding mower, especially a child.
  • Do not pull a mower backward or ride it in reverse unless necessary.

Remember, safety first at all times!

© 2016 American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Download the lawnmower safety infographic.