Red lawn mower on grass
Photo: Colourbox

Don’t get hurt mowing the lawn

The garden tool most commonly involved in accidents is the motorised lawnmower. Cuts and injuries from objects thrown out by the lawnmower at high speed are the most common injuries. Here is some advice to help you mow the lawn without injury.

Wear sturdy footwear

Typical lawnmower injuries are injuries to the fingers or toes from the blades under the mower. To avoid injury, make sure your lawnmower is in good working order and that the safety guards are in place before you start. Never cut the grass in bare feet. Wear sturdy shoes that protect your toes and feet.

Keep the lawn tidy

The blades under the lawnmower rotate at high speed. If you run over loose objects on the lawn, these may be thrown out with force and cause serious injury, particularly if they hit someone in the eye. Check over the lawn before you start mowing, and remove toys, stones, twigs, etc. If you hit an object while you are mowing, turn off the motor and check that the lawnmower has not been damaged before you continue.

Keep children at a distance

Many children like to help with gardening, but mowing the lawn is a job for adults. Keep children at a safe distance. This will protect them from hurting themselves on the lawnmower or getting an eye injury from flying stones. If you have a tractor mower, it is particularly important to keep them away. You should not even allow them to sit on the mower while you are driving it.

Top up with petrol when the motor is cold

If you have a petrol mower, top up with petrol when the motor is cold. If you run out of petrol part way through doing the lawn, take a break while the motor cools down. You should never top up with petrol when the motor is hot. Always turn off the motor if you need to adjust the cutting height part way through mowing.

Clean after use

Lawnmowers will last longer if you clean them after use. Always unplug them from the electricity supply or remove the spark plug before you start. You should take your lawnmower to a reliable service centre once a year for safety and maintenance inspections.

Accidents with garden tools

In Sweden, more than 4500 people end up in Accident and Emergency every year with gardening injuries. There are no exact statistics for Norway, but accidents with garden tools are also very common here. Half of the gardening accidents in Sweden were caused by people hurting themselves on tools or using them incorrectly. The graph below shows which tools were covered by the accident statistics.

Source: MSB (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency)