Landscape Safety Series, Push Mower Safety

  • Fluegel, Lance;
  • Rein, Bradley K.


  • Review the instruction manual if you haven't used the mower for awhile.
  • Be sure that all safety devices are in position and working -- rear shield, grass chute deflector, handle upstops (not on electric models), and "dead man control."
  • Wear close-fitting clothes, sturdy non-slip shoes, eye protection, and hearing protection.
  • Fill the fuel tank out of doors when engine is cold. Wipe up any spills.
  • Do not smoke while fueling the engine.
  • Adjust cutting height and blade condition-- sharpen if necessary (engine must be shut off).
  • If your electric mower isn't labeled "double insulated" never plug into anything but a grounded 3-prong outlet. Use a ground fault interrupter (GFI) for maximum safety.
  • Pick up all debris in the lawn -- anything the mower could pick up and throw.
  • Be sure grass is dry before cutting, to prevent the operator from slipping.
  • Do not allow children or pets near the mowing area.
  • Never allow children to operate power mowers. Wait until they are physically and mentally mature enough to handle the job.

  • Start the mower outdoors near the area to be mowed.
  • Do not push a running mower over gravel, stones, or hard objects such as pipes, rocks, or sidewalks.
  • Push the mower forward -- do not pull it.
  • Mow across the slope so if you slip you are less likely to get your feet in the blade.
  • Keep electric cord out of the mowing path.
  • Keep hands and feet clear of the blade housing and the discharge chute.
  • Do not run with push powered mowers.
  • If using a push powered mower be careful to not overdo your work capacity especially on hot days.
  • Take frequent rest breaks especially if the operator is out of condition.
  • Point the discharge chute away from people, pets, buildings, windows, and glass doors.
  • Turn the mower off if you leave it for even a moment.
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire before working on the mower.

Publication #: 8831-R

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

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