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.


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 ensuring that employees follow these guidelines by either correcting unsafe actions when noticed or reported.


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.


  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 (EHS).

  2. Approved personal protective equipment is required when operating any lawn mower. EHS 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 range of your discharge, STOP and wait 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 operator’s noise level exposure.

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

  9. When mowing on a steep hill make sure you are traveling up and down, not parallel along the hill where you could lose control or tip over. This would depend on the total width of the vehicle and diameter of the carriage. Consult the owner’s 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 affect 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.