Grass and Hedge Trimmers: Safety Guidelines

by John K Harris | 1st January 2010

Petrol strimmers can be a great tool to use to keep your lawn in good condition. However, if they’re used improperly, they can inflict serious harm to you or others around you. So it’s important to follow some common-sense safety precautions.

Firstly, always try to cover the whole of your torso with a long-sleeved shirt or jacket. It’s also a good idea to wear something such as jeans (or any other thick pants) to ensure your legs are properly protected.

By wearing proper shoes or boots, you can ensure your feet are protected. During any time that you’re using the strimmer, you can almost guarantee that stones or twigs will fly up and hit your legs or feet.

The wearing of goggles or some other eye protection is an absolute must when you’re using a strimmer – this includes grass and hedge trimmers. Have you ever been hit by a fast moving stone? Now imagine that happening to one of your eyes!

If you own a grass strimmer (rather than the hedge variety), always aim the strimmer at the floor when it’s in use – this can help to avoid accidents.

Your handbook will contain instructions for properly mixing the fuel (most models take a specific mixture of oil and petrol), and if you don’t mix the fuel properly, you risk breaking the device (or worse, burning yourself or someone else).

Always make sure the strimmer is well maintained, the parts are secure, and there’s enough string in it to do the job. Conversely, make sure there’s not too much string in it or it may hit your feet or legs, or wrap around some debris and break.

All brands of strimmer are different, and whilst you should always follow the safety advice in this article, you should also read the instruction manual that came with the strimmer; it will contain model-specific advice.

To keep your strimmer safe, always ensure it’s well maintained. This includes cleaning and repairing it (if necessary) with petrol strimmer spares.

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