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Preparing lawn-mowing equipment for a rigorous mowing schedule can help ensure more efficient and successful operations, and safety is an essential element of this effort. Grounds equipment operators must be sure to inspect all safety features to ensure they are in working order. Grounds managers should not allow operators to override or modify safety devices. Operators should never compromise safety for efficiency. One accident can quickly negate all the benefits of saving a few minutes each day.
Attention and commitment to routine lawn mower maintenance goes a long way to ensuring operator safety. Worn belts and brakes, loose bolts, faulty wiring, improper tire pressure and broken seat belts can contribute to injury.
Manufacturers continually improve safety features on mowing equipment and tractors. Automatic shutoffs, ergonomic hand controls, vibration and noise reduction, roll bars, and seat belts are among the safety features included in today’s mowing equipment.
Deflectors and guards are also more common on mower decks and should remain in place when mowing near streets, parking lots and other places where flying objects thrown by the mower might damage property or injure people.
Some manufactures equip riding mowers with back-over protection devices, which prevent the blade from turning while the mower is in reverse. These devices also might include a sensor that stops the engine or the blades or the wheels when it detects a bystander behind the machine.
Managers should set up routine mower maintenance schedules before operations hit full stride. Mechanics should document daily, weekly and monthly maintenance activities and communicate them to operators.
Ease of service must remain a top priority when specifying mowers. If a mower is easy to maintain, it is more likely to receive the care necessary to keep it in good working condition for its expected life.