Each year approximately 75,000 people are injured by lawnmowers and require medical treatment. Injuries may range from minor cuts and bruises to amputations and even death. Some of these injuries are caused by unsafe lawnmowers.
The National Institute of Safety and Health has identified these potential defects possibly found on some walk-behind lawnmowers:
- Some mowers have power-driven chains, belts, and gears that are not guarded to prevent contact and injury. Exposed items such as these can cause serious injury.
- Some mowers have poorly marked operator controls. Controls must be clearly marked to ensure safe operation.
- Some mowers do not have a shut-off device which shuts off the mower when the operator removes his hand(s) from the controls. This is vital to protecting operators who fall down or otherwise lose control of a mower.
- Some mowers have a mower blade enclosure that does not fully extend to the lowest cutting point of the blade in the lowest cutting position. This leaves the deadly mower blade exposed in some instances.
- Some mowers lack warnings affixed to the mower to indicate that the mower should not be used without either the grass-catcher assembly or the discharge guard in place. It is vital that one of these items be used. Mowers used without either of these items have no device in place to ensure which direction debris is discharged from the mower.
- Some discharge ports do not have proper designs which may cause debris to be discharged long distances or may even cause the debris to be discharged in the direction of the operator. Lawnmowers have come a long way in safety over the years. Nevertheless, hazards still exist and will continue to exist as long as the public remains unaware of these hidden dangers.