Much like the saw, two of the most common yard power tools also pose a risk for lacerations or amputations. The lawnmower and the snow blower are routinely used to handle outdoor projects, which can make them seem deceivingly safe. This false sense of security can lead to an underestimation of the risk of injury.
For example, when a tool is malfunctioning, an operator may try to do a quick fix on the equipment, yet these fixes can have dire consequences. "It amazes me how many people will have a problem with their lawnmower and reach their hand underneath to explore the problem, forgetting the dangers of sharp, rotating objects," says Dr. Ryan Stanton, medical director at U.K. Good Samaritan Emergency Medicine, associate professor at U.K. Department of Emergency Medicine and spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians.
A similar situation can occur with a snow blower. When a piece of ice or snow is jammed inside the snow blower, the operator may reach into the blower to dislodge the clog. When the obstruction is removed, the blades will kick back and revolve, cutting off fingers or the whole hand.
It's important to remember that accidents don't only happen to the operators of these tools; bystanders should also take precautions. Bystanders can be hit by projectiles while a lawnmower is in use. Riding lawnmowers can pose a particular risk to young children or pets if the operator doesn't see them and accidentally reverses or drives over them.
A few tips to keep in mind when using these powered lawn tools:
- Keep all bystanders at a distance.
- Before mowing the lawn, walk the area and clear it of small rocks or branches that could potentially be thrown during mowing.
- Wear closed-toed shoes when working with power tools.