Landscape Safety Series, Operating the Edger Safely

  • Fluegel, Lance;
  • Rein, Bradley K.


  • Read the owner's manual to familiarize yourself with the controls and how to use the machine safely. Be sure you know how to disengage and stop it quickly.
  • Never allow children or inexperienced adults to operate the edger without proper instruction. Be certain operators are physically and mentally capable of using the machine.
  • Carefully survey the working area. Have children, pets, and bystanders move a safe distance away. Remove sticks, stones, bottles, and other debris that could be thrown by the machine.
  • Wear proper personal protection: safety goggles or eye shield, ear protection, long pants, safety shoes, and gloves.
  • Check the condition of the edger. Make repairs, replace necessary parts, and tighten loose bolts before using.
  • Fill the engine with fuel out of doors. Never fuel when the engine is running or has not had a few minutes to cool down.
  • If using an electrically-operated unit, be certain that it is properly grounded or is double-insulated.

  • Never operate the engine inside a building in order to prevent deadly carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Be sure the blade is disengaged before attempting to start the engine. (see Figure 1)
  • Hold the edger with both hands in a comfortable, well-balanced stance.
  • Keep your hands and feet well clear of the cutter blade.
  • Watch the discharge direction carefully. Direct it away from people, pets, children, windows, etc. Be alert for situations that could ricochet material.
  • Disengage and stop the engine before adjusting or repairing. Unplug electric models. Wait for all parts to stop moving.
  • Store the edger safely out of reach of children.

Publication #: 8831-D

This document is apart of a series from the Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719. Publication date: May 1989.

Lance Fluegel, Safety Coordinator, and Bradley Rein, Engineering Specialist, the University of Arizona, College of Agriculture, Tucson AZ 85719

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. More