Clemson Agricultural Safety

Lawnmower Safety – May 2024

Lawnmower Safety


  • PPE: closed‐toed shoes, ear, and eye protection
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse
  • Always turn off the mower engine when removing any grass, cleaning clogged chutes, or crossing gravel paths and road.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers
  • Use mowers with adequate lighting or daylight
  • Keep all guards, shields, switches, and other safety devices in proper working order.


  • Is the chosen type of mower appropriate for the task? Are there other tools better equipped for the job?
  • Is the operator of the tool trained on how to operate the push mower safely?
  • Ensure the mower deck and discharge are free of foreign materials
  • Ensure that the blade(s) are (are) undamaged, unbent, and in proper working order. The nut is tight, and blade(s) is (are) not loose
  • Set height adjustment levers to the proper height. Ensure levers can move freely and are undamaged.


  • Check for bystanders.
  • Move the on/off switch to on, close the choke, prime the fuel line, grasp the pull cord handle firmly, and pull until the tool starts, then place the choke back in the open position.
  • When operating near or on loose material, be sure to position the mower so that the discharge is away from bystanders, fragile objects, and the road.
  • If operating near a roadside, look up often to ensure there are no oncoming cars.
  • Mow with discharge pointing away from trees to prevent ricochet of projected materials from the mower. Debris from the chute can travel at 200 mph.

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