November 23, 2009

Thousands Injured Every Year By Ride-On Lawnmowers

Experts have warned that using a ride-on mower to cut the grass might save energy but they land thousands of people in the hospital every year, BBC News reported.

A study in the Journal of Safety Research showed that over five years some 66,000 Americans ended up in emergency departments with injuries caused by lawn tractors.

Six people have died, while many others suffered bruises or sprains. Others suffered broken bones and amputations.

The report showed that most cases of injury resulted from moving mowers or machines tipping over.

However, nearly 100 of those injured were run over by a mower and some were children who had been sitting on the driver's lap and had fallen off.

Most of the casualties were men aged 40 or older.

Others were hit by objects or flying debris, or sustained injuries while unloading the mower or servicing it.

In the UK, an estimated 6,500 are hurt every year by lawnmowers, either hand-pushed or ride-ons. Some 530 people had to be admitted for hospital treatment in England over the past 12 months alone.

"People should be cautious when gardening," said John Heyworth, president of the College of Emergency Medicine.

He explained that the risk of getting injured is low but no one is completely risk free.

"We regularly see patients coming into A&E with a number of injuries as a result of gardening activities. Some have run over their feet with the lawnmower and others have badly cut their fingers on the blades," he said.

Electric mowers and other power tools should always be used with an RCD - residual current device - which would cut off the power quickly in the event of an accident, according to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The society warned that maintenance should never be carried out while the mower is plugged in.

It also recommend that children be kept away when cutting the grass and all operators of mowers should wear strong shoes and trousers rather than shorts and sandals.


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