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Lawn Mower Safety

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE
Lawn Mower Safety
Guidelines

Prepared by: Edmund Sullivan
May 1996
Last Reviewed: July 2006

PURPOSE

The purpose of these guidelines is to establish a safe environment for both the operator of the lawn equipment and pedestrians who might be in the general area.

RESPONSIBILITY

Manager/Supervisor

Management is responsible for insuring all employees covered under these guidelines are properly trained and that all equipment purchases meet or exceed current safety standards.

Management is also responsible for insuring that employees follow these guidelines by either correcting unsafe actions when noticed or reported.

EMPLOYEES

All employees are expected to become familiar with these guidelines and follow them and to report to their supervisor any unsafe conditions they may be aware of.

REQUIREMENTS

1.   Lawn mowers (including riding mowers) are equipped with safety features that should not be modified 
or removed without the expressed written permission of the manufacturer with a copy to  
Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S).

2.   Approved personal protective equipment is required when operating any lawn mower.  
EH&S will  require hearing protection based on  the db rating of the equipment, safety shoes,  
gloves, and eye  protection.

3.  Lawn mowers must run with the deflector in the down position.  Lawn mowers are capable of 
launching  stones, sticks and other objects that could hit pedestrians that may be walking in the area.

4.  Operators shall direct the discharge away from people or parked cars.  If a pedestrian approaches and 
is within ranger of your discharge STOP and waite for the pedestrian to pass.

5.  Walkman type radios with headphones, that prevent the operator from hearing potential dangers, are
not  permitted on power equipment. In addition, the potential noise of the radio along with the noise 
of  the equipment could  add to the operators noise level exposure.

6.  Shut your machine OFF when clearing debris from underneath the carriage or when leaving your  
machine unattended or 25’ from the machine.

7.  Operators shall check the area being mowed prior to mowing to be sure all hazards are removed (rocks 
sticks and trash etc.).

8.  When refueling, let the motor cool down for at least ten minutes first, having gasoline drip on the hot 
engine could cause a fire.  Mowers with the fuel cap away  from the engine (manifold etc.) and
where there is little chance of a fire related to the refueling may disregard the ten minute waiting
period.

Lawn Mower Safety Guidelines - Continued

9.  When mowing on a steep hill make sure your traveling up and down, not parallel along the hill where
you could loose control or tip over.  This would depend on the total width of the vehicle and diameter
of the carriage.  Consult the owners manual of the specific equipment your operating.  The angle will
differ depending on the model and type of equipment your operating.

10.  Operators requiring Rx glasses must wear them.

11.  Operators must report any medical condition(s)  that could possibly effect your operation of
the equipment like medications, hearing or eye problems.

12.  Operators must check their equipment prior to starting work to ensure that all safety systems are in 
place and all maintenance checks have been made.  Any problems should be immediately addressed 
with your supervisor or someone authorized to repair your particular machine.

13.  While performing your duties we encourage all operators to be observant to any potential hazards they 
may observe on campus.  These should be reported to your supervisor or the EH&S office.

14.  Operators are not permitted to drive or  otherwise use mechanical equipment after drinking alcohol or  
taking drugs.  This would include Rx drugs prescribe by the operators doctor if taking them would
impair the safe operation of the equipment.  If  you are instructed not to drive a vehicle,  then it is 
unsafe to operate power equipment.

15.  Following these procedures are a condition of employment.  Failure to comply could result it 
dismissal.

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