Many of these important warning and danger signs commonly found in the owners’ manuals of power equipment may seem funny, but the threat of injury while servicing your equipment can be very real. Do you know what these common hazard signs mean?
Let’s start with dismemberment, shall we?
Moving belts are extremely dangerous. Getting any loose clothing, loose jewelry, fingers, hands, toes, feet or hair caught in a moving belt is going to result in a bad time. Don’t attempt to service or even be close to a moving belt.
Quite obviously, the same applies to blades. Never be near a blade that is moving and be careful while working with blades that aren’t even moving. Wear heavy gloves.
Never reach down a chute or into your machine while the machine is on or capable of turning on. Make sure you can clearly see where you’re reaching while performing any maintenance on your equipment.
By now, we can establish a general rule that quite simply states, “don’t touch moving stuff”. Stay clear of rotating parts such as pulleys, blades, etc. Wait until all moving parts have stopped before servicing your equipment.
The Elements: Temperature and Gas
As with automobiles, your power equipment will get hotter as it runs. Avoid burns by allowing your equipment to completely cool down before servicing or touching it in any way.
Never run your engine in an area that has poor ventilation. Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, which is an odorless gas that is very deadly.
Gasoline is extremely flammable and smoking around it is very dangerous. Take danger and risk out of the equation by not smoking near your equipment or fuel.
Unfortunately, riding mowers aren’t designed for two people. Having more than one person on a riding mower can be extremely hazardous. Keep everyone safe and don’t attempt it.
Be aware of children and your surroundings in general while operating your equipment. The more aware you are, the safer everyone is. You also wouldn’t want to hit a stump on your riding mower, would you?
Only ride on slopes that your machine can handle. Be familiar with the information found in your operator’s manual to understand what kind of terrain your machine can handle and the best and safest way to maneuver it.
Last but not least, ricochet. It’s very likely that your machine is capable of not only picking up small objects, but throwing them in random directions at dangerous speeds. You can use your equipment for quite a while without this ever happening, but it is very possible. The operator and all nearby pedestrians should be aware of the possibility of ricochet.
So what can we take away from all of this? Don’t touch any part of your machine that is still hot or moving, be very familiar with your owner’s manual, and most importantly, awareness is safety!