Power Lawn Mowers

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training


To be able to operate power lawn mowers according to safety guidelines.

Trainer's Note:

Safe lawn mowing practices can save lives. Point out the safety devices on the mower. Discuss the importance of leaving shields and stops in place. Demonstrate PPE and lawn mower maintenance. Discuss various lawn mowing accidents and brainstorm about how these accidents could have been prevented.


A power lawn mower can be dangerous and cause serious injuries. A rotary mower blade whirls at 2,000 or 4,000 revolutions per minute, or at 100 to 200 miles per hour. For safety reasons, it is important to know how to quickly disengage the clutch and stop the engine.

To operate a power lawn mower, follow these tips:

  • Begin by reading the operator's manual.
  • Before mowing remove debris from lawn.
  • Wear protective, close fitting clothing.
  • Start mower from a firm stance with feet in a safe position.
  • Take self-propelled mowers out of gear before starting.
  • Keep both feet on the footrests of a riding mower.
  • Keep all guards and safety shields in place.
  • Never fill the gasoline tank on the mower if the engine is hot.
  • Store gasoline in an approved, properly labeled container.
  • Turn off the motor before dismounting or removing a foreign object
  • Disconnect the spark or electric plug before repairing mower.
  • Never use an electric mower on wet grass.
  • Provide routine maintenance.
  • No extra riders on self-propelled mowers (refer to module: No Riders on Farm and Lawn Equipment).
Be Aware of Mowing Hazards:
  • A mower can tip over easily.
  • Push the mower away from the body during a fall.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended.
  • Take rest periods as needed (refer to module: Heat Stress).
  • Foreign objects can fly from the mower, so make sure the mowing area is clear of people and animals.
Proper mowing directions:
  • When mowing on a slope with a riding mower, you should mow down the slope.
  • When mowing on a slope with a push mower, you should mow across the slope.
Proper dress for mowing:
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Long pants and long sleeve shirts.
  • Safety glasses or goggles when mowing near solid objects.
Review the Following Points
  • Wear protective, snug clothing when mowing.
  • Keep guards and safety shields in place.
  • Turn off the mower before dismounting or removing any foreign objects.
  • Know how to disengage the clutch and stop the engine.
  • A rotary blade whirls between 2,000 and 4,000 revolutions per minute, at speeds between 100- 200 miles per hour.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended.
Power Lawn Mowers Quiz

True or False

1. An improperly used power lawn mower can cause serious injuries.
2. The speed of a rotary mower blade is 100 - 200 miles per hour.
3. Do not turn off a lawn mower to remove foreign objects.
4. Carefully inspect the lawn for debris, and remove it before mowing.
5. Keep lawn mower guards and shields in place at all times.

Answer Key
1. T, 2. T, 3. F, 4. T, 5. T

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