The following script can be used to deliver a 15-minute
training session to employees. You may wish to have equipment
on hand to point out safety features and demonstrate correct
The text emphasizes important points related to agricultural/industrial
mower safety. It is suggested that you try to stay strictly
on topic. Obviously, you will need to be prepared to answer
need to be thoroughly familiar with mowing equipmentits
operating characteristics,capacity, and safety features.
sites need to be prepared in advance.
are responsible for their personal safety and
that of others.
use of agricultural and industrial mowers depends on gaining
an understanding of each machine's capacity and operating
characteristics. For example, you need to find out which materials
a particular unit can cut safely.
Study the operator's manual in detail before starting to use
equipment. You must know how to use the mower, tractor, and
various accessories. Determine the purpose of all the controls,
gauges, and dials. Learn the safe speed, slope capabilities,
braking and steering characteristics, turning radius, and operating
Confirm that all guards, shields, and safety signs recommended
by the manufacturer are installed. Study the danger, warning,
and caution decals affixed to the machine.
Don't operate a machine with missing or
damaged protective devices.
Before the start of each workday, make the following checks:
Prepare the work area
- Repair or replace any loose, broken, missing, or damaged
parts on both mower and tractor.
- Sharpen or replace cutting blades as recommended by the
manufacturer. Damaged blades do a poor job, and can cause
- Make sure that all guards and shields are in place and
- Check tractor and mower hydraulic systems. Have any leaks
or damaged parts repaired.
Look for any condition that might be hazardous-ditches, potholes,
drop-offs, steep slopes, stumps, etc. Remove any objects which
could be thrown by the mower. Remember that obstacles are harder
to see in tall grass, weeds, or brush. Check for overhead clearance
when operating boom or wing-type mowers.
Determine the best and safest way to proceed with cutting. Consider
the height and type of material to be mowed, and the terrain
over which you must operate. Plan a pattern that will allow
you to travel straight forward as much as possible.
Steel-toed safety footwear is mandatory. Full length, close-fitting
clothes should be worn. A hat, safety eyewear, hearing protection,
and gloves round out the proper garb for this type of work.
Watch out for others
Watch out for others Make sure no one is under, on, or near
the machinery. Let other workers and bystanders know you will
be starting up. Under no circumstances should children or
pets be anywhere near the work area-NO RIDERS!
comes near the area while you are mowing, shut off the equipment.
An object hurled by a mower could cause serious or fatal injury.
Safe mowing practices
Are there any questions?
- Be sure the transmission is out of gear and the mower
blade clutch disengaged before starting the engine.
- Engage the mower drive at low engine RPM and the equipment
at maximum cutting height. Check for excessive vibration
and unusual noises. If there is any indication of trouble,
shut the machine down and carry out an inspection. Mower
blades may continue to rotate for some time, so wait until
all movement has stopped before leaving the tractor
seat. Block the raised mower before inspection.
- Raise speed to rated RPM, and lower the mower to the
desired working height.
- Proper ground speed will depend on the height, type and
density of material to be cut, and the nature of the terrain.
- Slow down on slopes and when turning sharply to avoid
a rollover. Be alert for holes or other hidden dangers.
- With under mount, rear mount, pull-type, and wing mowers,
always try to mow down slopes, never up or across the face.
- With side mount, offset, and sicklebar mowers, always
mow across the slope with the mower on the uphill side.
Never operate with the mower pointed downhill. Avoid turning
uphill quickly or sharply with this class of mowers.
- Use extreme caution when operating on very uneven terrain.
Ground speed should be slow, and turns wide and gradual.
- Pass diagonally through sharp dips. Avoid sudden drop-offs
to prevent "hanging up" of the tractor and mower.
- Extreme caution is required when mowing ditch banks.
If a wing or side mount mower hits an obstruction, the front
of the tractor will usually swerve toward the ditch.
- Do not mow in reverse unless specifically recommended
in the operator's manual. Always look behind before backing
up. Small children or bystanders may have strayed into the
area without your knowledge.
- Keep feet and hands away from v-belts, shafts, and other
moving parts. In fact, the mower should not be running unless
the operator is sitting on the seat.
- Follow recommended shutdown procedures before leaving
the mower. Set the brakes, disengage power to the mower,
turn off the engine, and remove the key. Never leave a mower
on a slope.
Finally, let's take a moment to review some of the "Do's" and
"Don'ts" of agricultural and industrial mower safety.
Learn which material the mower you are using can safely
Remove obstacles from the work site before starting to
Wear safety footwear and other protective gear.
Operate a machine without all guards and shields in place.
Allow children bystanders, or pets in the work area.
Turn uphill when mowing a slope.
The information and recommendations contained in this publication
are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary
expert opinion on the subject material. The farm safety Association
Inc. does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of
subject material, nor can it accept responsibility for health
and safety recommendations that may have been omitted due to
particular and exceptional conditions and circumstances.
Copyright @ 2000
Fann Safety Association Inc.
22-340 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7K6 (519) 823-5600
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.