Thursday, April 10, 2014


help us to promote

Lawnmower Safety

These Injuries can be devastating to the hand ...or any part of the body that is involved.
  • 22% of injuries involve the hand, fingers or wrist.  25% of which result in amputation

  • Lawnmowers should be considered potentially lethal in the hands of children.

  • Children under age 6 should be inside when the lawn is being mowed.

  • Children under age 12 should not be allowed to go near a power lawnmower and should be at least 16 before using a riding mower.

  • Safety training is essential always.



Keep Your Hands Safe: Follow Lawnmower Safety Tips

Each year, more than 74,000 small children, adolescents and adults are injured by rotary, hand and riding power mowers due to improper handling. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand would like to provide you with patient information to help you avoid these injuries.
Kinetics of Rotary Power LawnmowersKinetic energy (motion) imparted by a standard rotary blade is comparable to the energy generated by dropping a 21-pound weight from a height of 100 feet or is equal to three times the muzzle energy of a .357 Magnum pistol. Blade speed can eject a piece of wire or an object at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Injury Profile
Adults 25-64 years
Children under age five
22% involve wrist, hand or finger
14% involve foot, ankle or toes
25% of all hand and foot injuries result in amputation
Deaths occurred in children under six years of age
Common Injury Patterns
  • Direct contact with rotating or jammed blade
  • Serious avulsion (tearing/separating) injuries to soft tissue and bones
  • Gross contamination from contact with grass and soil harboring pathogens
  • Injuries requiring multiple staged surgeries to cleanse wounds and provide soft tissue coverage (to regenerate healthy tissue/skin)
Common Weather Conditions
  • Wet grass
  • Damp ground
Other Causes of Injury
  • Passengers (adult/child) on riding mowers or in cart towed behind mower
  • Mower being pulled backward
  • Sloping lawn mowed by power mower up and down slope, instead of across
  • Sloping lawn mowed by riding mower across slope, instead of up and down
  • Wearing sandals or open-toed shoes
  • Operator attempts to unclog blades with hand or foot
Lawnmowers are safe if used properly.
Remember the following:
  • Read your mower's instruction manual prior to use.
  • DO NOT REMOVE safety devices or guards on switches.
  • NEVER insert hands or feet into the mower to remove grass or debris. Even with the motor turned off, the blade remains engaged.
  • ALWAYS use a stick or broom handle to remove any obstruction.
  • NEVER cut grass when it is wet or when the ground is damp.
  • NEVER allow a child to operate the mower at any time or be in the area to be mowed.
  • NEVER allow passengers, other than the operator, on riding mowers.
  • Keep your mower in good working order with sharp blades.
  • DO NOT DRINK before or while using your lawnmower.
  • Wear protective boots, goggles, gloves and long pants.
  • Do not operate the lawnmower while barefoot.
  • Be cautious when mowing hills or slopes.
Copyright © American Society for Surgery of the Hand 2009.

2008 AAOS Position Statement taken from AAOS website by 

Power Lawnmower Safety.
This Position Statement was developed as an educational tool based on the opinion of the authors. It is not a product
of a systematic review. Readers are encouraged to consider the information presented and reach their own
More than 210,000 people – including approximately 16,000 children - were treated in doctors’ offices, clinics and
emergency rooms for lawnmower-related injuries in 2007, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission. Lawnmower injuries often result in partial or complete amputation of both lower and upper extremities.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes that the great majority of these injuries are
preventable. The Academy recommends the following safety guidelines when using lawnmower

Never let children operate lawnmowers. Keep kids 15 years of age and younger away when lawnmowers are in use.

Children should not be in the yard while the lawn is being mowed.

No riders other than the operator, regardless of age, should be allowed on a riding mower.

Be sure the motor has been turned off before inspecting or repairing power lawnmower equipment.

Do not tamper with safety release switches.

Keep lawnmowers in good working order with sharp blades.

Remove stones, toys and other objects from the lawn before you start mowing.

Wear protective gloves, goggles, boots and long pants when you use lawnmowers. Never mow barefoot or in

Use caution when mowing hills and slopes. Mow across with a push mower; mow up and down with a riding
mower. Do not cut wet grass.

Be sure the motor is off before inspecting or repairing lawnmower equipment.

Read the instruction manual before using a lawnmower.

Be sober (i.e., don’t drink and mow.)

Do not remove safety devices, shield or guards on switches, and keep hands and feet away from moving parts.

Stay away from the engine cowling, as it can become very hot and burn unprotected flesh.

Add fuel before starting the engine, not when it is running or hot.

Use a stick or broom handle (not your hands or feet) to remove debris in lawnmowers or snowblowers.

Do not leave a lawnmower unattended when it is running. If you must walk away from the machine, shut off the

March 1998. Revised December 2008 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
This material may not be modified without the express written permission of the American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons .
Position Statement 1142
For additional information, contact Public Relations Department at 847-384-4031.
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Lawn Mower-Related Injuries to Children:Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention

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