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Mower Safety — Blood on
Welcome through Fred's Garden Gate! Fall is upon us and the snows and chill of a Northeast winter won't be far
behind. Lawnmower safety, however, is a ripe subject for any season. .
.especially spring. Spring's a time when a gardener's thoughts turn seriously
to mowing the lawns, tilling the garden, finally being able to go jogging
without ear muffs and an overcoat...or just plain walking--a walk through
are, however, a great many people who find it painful to just walk; many who
just cannot jog; and more than a few who wince at the thought of mowing a
lawn. Why? Simple: at some point in the past they refused to follow easily
understood instructions--refused to apply common sense--and are now paying
an unanticipated, and very unpleasant, price for their errors.
Let me tell you about some of those people who once stood tall,
haughtily lifted their chins and clamped their teeth together in
rebellion--steadfastly refusing to follow safety rules. Then let me point out
a few crucially important steps you can--and must--take to ensure that someone
in your family doesn't make the same tragic mistake. These are true and
What did they all have in common besides their injuries? They had all
either defeated safety devices on their mowers, and/or utterly ignored common
sense safety rules that would have prevented a great deal of grief and
pain...not to mention lost productivity and huge medical/surgical
Don't allow these incredibly dumb mistakes to occur in your family!
Listen to these three responsibilities you must assume, and wedge them firmly
into memory--now--before you even start the engine.
As far as I'm concerned, the most valuable safety feature is the rear
toe guard—the rubber or
thick, flexible plastic thing that drags on the ground behind the mower. I'm
here to verify the fact that taking it off because it interferes with pulling
the mower backwards carries incredible danger...and can bring about painful
expense. I know what I'm talking about! Take a look at the picture of his
badly chopped-up shoe. The foolish person who was wearing it broke four
cardinal rules: he'd removed the toe guard, had defeated the dead-man switch,
was pulling his mower backwards without watching where he was going, and was daydreaming.
still paying for those foolish mistakes! (In my own defense, however, I was
younger then. . .and convinced of my indestructibility and, perhaps,
immortality as well. It's a young-guy thing!)
can you do to protect yourself and your family from the dreadful and crippling
consequences of these or similar errors? Don't allow your kids under 14 to
operate power equipment...even if they are smarter than most...even if they're
"supervised"...even if they beg or if you're too darned lazy to get
off the couch or out of the lawn chair and do it yourself. Read and follow
safety instructions. And never tamper with safety devices or features. Now
it's up to you. You can do it. How much do you care about yours or your kids'
personal safety? How much is a foot or hand or eyes worth?
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