OK…let’s count our toes….1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and there it is…10. If you want to always be able to do that, it might be a good idea to pay attention to this little lawn mower safety reminder. Apparently there is a reason why there are warning stickers on lawn mowers that say things like “keep your hands and feet away from the mower”
I was talking to a friend of mine this evening who is recovering from a minor accident with a lawn mower. He somehow managed to get his foot underneath the mower and now has a big toe that is a little shorter than it was before he stuck his foot under the lawnmower. How could that happen you ask?
Well, even if you didn’t ask, I am going to tell you because I care about you, and it is a good reminder of the dangers of lawn mowing. My buddy wasn’t wearing Safety Toe Boots, in fact he wasn’t wearing boots at all, he was wearing Crocs….you know, those plastic shoes.
Unfortunately plastic shoes don’t offer much in the way of toe protection when it comes to lawn mowing.
I know how it happened, stuff like this can happen fast. He has a little hill in his backyard, and lawn mowing on hills can be challenging at the best of times, it’s even worse without the right footwear. Standing above a mower and working downhill on a slippery grass slope is dangerous. Better to cut as much as you can from the bottom up, then cut sideways across the hill. That way you are not standing above the mower, and if you should slip, hopefully you won’t slide underneath of it. Or your foot won’t.
If you have ever run a lawnmower over a rock at the cottage you will probably have seen that the blade will chip the rock. Imagine what it can do to flesh and bone. Even steel toe boots are no guarantee, but they might offer a little more than ordinary shoes or *gasp* plastic shoes or sandals. So it’s steel toe safety boots if you are cutting grass.
One thing that increases the danger of lawn mowers at the cottage is the likelihood that you are using an old mower at the cottage. You know, the old one you bought at yard sale, or the one that you brought from home after you got the new one. The old mowers, like my old Mastercraft Mower, run great, cut great and are made of tough stuff. They can last forever, But they don’t all have the safety features of the newer mowers.
In particular, old lawn mowers, invented before we started wearing plastic shoes, don’t have the release bar kill switch that stops the engine the second you let go of the mower handle.
Of course as you slip under the mower, you have to remember to “Let GO Of The Handle!!!” or else it won’t make much difference.
That red stuff you see shooting out the side of the mower discharge is probably not grass….
Oh yes, my friend? He is recovering nicely at home, and the doctor’s say he will be able to return to his job as a job safety supervisor in a couple of weeks….
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