Safety tips from OPEI: Using your mower on a slope

March 20, 2015  - By

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has issued safety tips for operating mowers on or near slopes. Yards, sports fields and other mowing areas are not always flat, so mower operators should exercise caution when on uneven or sloped terrain.

“If you are using your lawn mower on a slope, it is very important that you pay attention to the terrain, be vigilant of risks and know how to fully operate your mower,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “These best practices can help lawn mower operators avoid potential mishaps.”

Safety tips:

  • Operating any mower on a slope requires extra caution. Slopes are a major factor related to loss of control and tip over accidents, which can result in severe injury.
  • Use the right equipment for the task. Don’t select a product that may be too small or unsuitable for the job. Ask your retailer or dealer for assistance.
  • Know how to operate your mower. Read the operator’s manual to understand the controls. Know how to stop your mower quickly and disengage the controls.
  • Survey the terrain. Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks or other hidden objects. Uneven terrain could overturn the machine. Tall grass can hide obstacles.
  • Be vigilant of risks, especially when operating on a slope. On a slope, there is a risk of slip and slide resulting in a loss of control. Be aware of the risks of rolling backwards, dropping off a wall or bank and the potential to overturn into a water hazard.

See OPEI’s fact sheet on safe operation practices on slopes, or visit OPEI.org for more safety tips and information.

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