How to avoid injury when mowing your lawn

Four Midstaters have been killed in lawnmower accidents in the past few weeks.

A man in Glen Rock rolled into a pond. A groundskeeper at Millersville University died when his mower caught fire. Two people died from mower-related accidents in Chanceford Township, in York County.

We spoke with David Reisman, from A&D Reisman lawn service in Mechanicsburg, about how to stay safe when cutting the grass. He says, “It’s just a lot of common sense.”

Reisman has decades of experience in the business. But according to Consumer Watch, more than 80,000 people go to the hospital each year for lawnmower-related injuries.

We asked Reisman to start from the beginning. First, he says, have a professional check out your mower or tractor at the beginning of each season, if possible.

On your own, “Just inspect your machines every time you use them,” he said. “Go over and look at it, make sure nothing is leaking.”

Gas leaks can start a fire.

Next, he says, check your surroundings.

“Dog toys, kids toys, they may be hidden in the grass,” Reisman said. “If you hit it, it’s going to go fly out the side chute and it’ll fly into a neighbor’s yard or window or into a neighbor.”

The most obvious one: “Never put your feet or your hands underneath the deck or around the belts,” he said, pointing to the sharp blade.

Experts suggest keeping kids and pets inside so they don’t accidentally run in front of mower.

Finally, choose your maintenance day wisely.

“If your grass is wet, try to stay off the hills,” Reisman said. “The back wheels could break from the ground, lose traction and the mower will slide. You are sitting on that mower and have no protection, no seat belt.”

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