Safety Around the Yard

Lawn Mowers
Many of us don't think about lawn mowers as occupational hazards. We start using them at a very young age, and we certainly don't need a license to mow the lawn. Here are a few simple precautions to ensure your safety - please read them carefully:
  • Inspect the lawn mower - this should be done prior to starting!
    • Make sure that the blade is sharp and secure. Thin or worn blades should be replaced right away.
    • Ensure that the shields and other guards, such as rear drag shields and discharge deflectors, are in place and working properly.
    • Wear protective equipment. Wear non-slip footwear and hearing protection.
  • Be prepared for obstacles.
    • Keep people away from the work area - mowers can throw objects in any direction.
    • Clear the work area of rocks, bottles and debris that might be thrown by the blades.
    • Watch for hidden hazards, such as holes, roots, drain pipes and insect nests.
    • Proceed slowly into tall, heavy grass to avoid choking the mower or stalling the motor.
    • Use caution around low hanging branches and shrubs.
    • Set mower at the highest cutting level when operating on rough ground.
    • Do not leave blades rotating when crossing graveled areas.
  • Don't touch!
    • Keep hands away from the blades at all times.
    • Expose the underside of a mower for maintenance only after shutting off.
  • Never reach under the machine
    • Disconnect the spark plug or unplug an electric mower before sharpening, replacing or cleaning.
    • Mow away from the cord when using an electric lawn mower.
    • Do not touch hot motor parts.
    • Do not spray cold water on a hot engine.
    • Do not make wheel height adjustments while the motor is running.
    • Do not refuel the mower while the engine is running.
    • Mow across slopes so that your feet are less likely to slide under the mower, and the mower cannot roll back - always mow standing up, not bent over.
    • Do not mow surfaces that are slippery.
  • Finally - know the controls and how to stop the mower quickly and never leave a running mower unattended
Gasoline Storage
You should only store enough gasoline to power your gasoline-fueled equipment. This gasoline should be stored outdoors, in a shed for example - gasoline should never be stored in your home or attached garage. Gasoline should be stored in an approved and clearly labeled container and should be well away from any sources of heat or flame.

Gasoline should only be used as motor fuel and never as:
  • A stain remover
  • Grease cleaner
  • Automotive parts cleaner, etc.
To transport gasoline in an automobile to and from a filling station, place the sealed, approved container in the trunk and leave the trunk lid open slightly. Never store gasoline in a car - drive directly to and from the filling station. Never smoke when using gasoline or refilling gas powered equipment, and always turn equipment off before adding fuel.

Pool Chemicals
Liquid and solid chlorine-based oxidizers are commonly sold for home pool care as hydrogen chloride products. These chemicals can spontaneously combust if contaminated by organic materials, such as body fluids, rain, hydrocarbon liquids such as fuel oil or motor oil. This type of fire will result in toxic fumes that can be extremely dangerous, and require resident evacuation.

Store pool chemicals with care:
  • Store and use pool chemicals according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Containers should be kept in a dry place.
  • Never store pool chemicals in the home, near sources of heat or flame, and never in direct sunlight.