As we’ve said many times before, lawnmowers are intrinsically safe devices – providing you use them in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating instructions and downright common sense.
Of course, any new or used farm machinery, including lawnmowers, can be dangerous if the user is determined to be careless.
Space here doesn’t allow us to go into a lot of detail and that will anyway all be contained within the manufacturer’s guide for the sit-on lawnmower you are using.
So instead, we’ll pick out a few absolute top-tips for the safe utilisation of sit-on lawnmowers:
Read the operating guide! There’s no point it containing lots of great safety advice if it’s never read;
Comply with the guide. There’s no point it containing safety information that the operator has read, if they then go out and do exactly the opposite when using their lawnmower;
Don’t let people, typically those that are younger and inexperienced, operate a sit-on lawnmower unless they have been fully trained. Be careful also that younger and more exuberant people don’t think it’s a toy they can “horse around” on;
Be sensible when driving up or descending slopes. Some may be so steep as to exceed the manufacturer’s safe operating envelope guides. Those that are not may still require certain specialist driving techniques to safely navigate them. Familiarise yourself with those in the user’s guide;
Don’t do the equivalent of “putting your foot down and going for it” over terrain you have never previously seen. Hidden obstacles can be a serious problem with a drive-on mower, so if you don’t know the ground, walk around it first trying to spot things that might cause you a problem;
Don’t start trying to bypass some of the safety devices, even if they are occasionally inconvenient. The classic involves people trying to tape down safety switches under seats, as they find it annoying that the engine stops every time they stand up. Those safety devices are there to protect you;
Keep younger children and pets well away from your mower when it is in use;
Keep your body parts away from machinery when it is in use;
At the risk of really stating the obvious, be very careful when fuelling your lawnmower because sparks and other flames, including cigarettes, are often the cause of entirely avoidable fires and explosions.