One man went to mow ….
Using a ride-on mower to cut the grass might save energy but it lands thousands of people in hospital every year, experts have warned. As a company we offer expert health and safety advice in Kent, helping to avoid accidents when using a ride on lawnmower. This advice relates not only to domestic use but commercial use in places like public parks and golf courses. The BBC recently ran a news item about accidents involving lawn mowers, the figure were astonishing. There are so many things to be aware of when using a ride on lawn mower, the following facts from the BBC may shock you but if you take note you will go a long way to keep yourself and others around you safe.
Nearly 100 of the injured were run over by a mower – some were children who had been sitting on the driver’s lap and had fallen off. Men made up the bulk of casualties, and most were aged 40 or older.
Many were hit by objects or flying debris, or sustained injuries while unloading the mower or servicing it. Best estimates for the UK suggest around 6,500 are hurt every year by lawnmowers, either hand-pushed or ride-ons.
In the past 12 months, 530 people had to be admitted for hospital treatment in England alone.
Former Norwich City football manager Bryan Hamilton needed surgery to save his foot after it became entangled in the blades of his ride-on mower. His toes were broken and dislocated and tendons and arteries were torn when the blades sliced through the sole of his foot as he tried to jump off the falling mower. It took two operations by consultant plastic surgeon Elaine Sassoon and her team at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for Mr Hamilton to make a recovery.
Play it safe
John Heyworth, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said people should be cautious when gardening.
“We all need to be careful. The risk of getting injured is low but we are not completely risk free. We regularly see patients coming into A&E with a number of injuries as a result of gardening activities. Some have run over their feet with the lawnmower and others have badly cut their fingers on the blades.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said electric mowers and other power tools should always be used with an RCD – residual current device – which would cut off the power quickly in the event of an accident.
And maintenance must never be carried out while the mower is plugged in. It is also best not to have children around when cutting the grass and to wear strong shoes and trousers rather than shorts and sandals when mowing.