The best course of action to avoid an accident is to work to correct potential hazards before they have the chance to lead to injury.Read More
Mowing is one of many tasks that come with the job for those working in agriculture. Whether you love or hate mowing, it’s a routine summer chore that could potentially have deadly consequences when safety precautions are not followed.
“Every summer we see tragic mowing fatalities, amputations, and other serious injuries in Ohio that could have been prevented,” said Bernie Silkowski, superintendent for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Division of Safety and Hygiene. “Taking the time to be mindful of simple mowing safety procedures can literally help save lives.”
The hot days of late summer are a great time to review the following tips and resources provided by BWC to make mowing operations safer for yourself and your fellow workers.
General mowing tips
- Train and retrain employees to maintain competency to operate a riding mower safely.
- Inspect the terrain for hazards such as objects, obstructions, holes, and drop-offs.
- Always start a riding mower from the operator position and never mount or dismount when it is running.
- Make sure every mower includes an operable auto shut-off when the rider is not in the seat.
- Never carry passengers, including children. Riding mowers are one-person machines.
Slope Mowing Tips
Slopes are a major factor related to loss of control and tip-over accidents, which can result in injury or death. Operation on slopes requires extra caution. If you cannot back up the slope or if you feel uneasy on it, do not mow it.
- Mow on slopes in the direction recommended by the manufacturer.
- Do not mow on slopes greater than 15 degrees, unless allowed by the manufacturer.
- Never start or stop a riding mower when it is going uphill or downhill. Avoid all sudden starts, stops or turns.
- Examine all safety devices to ensure the Roll-Over Protection Structure (ROPS), guards, seat belts and shields are in place and properly used.
- To avoid injury or death from roll-over, use the seat belt and keep the ROPS fully raised and in the locked position.
- Check carefully for overhead clearance and avoid contact with overhead objects.
Find other important mowing tips regarding tire traction, making turns, and hazards in BWC’s mowing safety bulletin. Visit bwc.ohio.gov for additional information about keeping your workers safe this summer.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio, serving 249,000 public and private employers. With nearly 1,600 employees and assets of approximately $25 billion, BWC is one of the largest state-run insurance systems in the United States. For more, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
Photo credit: Luis Negron, Pexels
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