One landscaping worker suffered serious injuries after his mower hit a metal fence at the bottom of a steep hill in Virginia.
The fence stopped the mower and the crewmember from falling over a 10-foot wall, according to Fauquier Now.
Medics had to strap the worker, who suffered a severe injury to his arm, to a backboard and then flew him in a medical helicopter to the nearest hospital.
The worker was attempting to cut the grass on the steep slope with the zero-turn mower. However, he could not stop the mower as it approached the slope’s bottom and crashed into the fence.
Typically, workers use string trimmers and walk-behind mowers for this steep of a hill.
If landscapers are mowing on hills, there are certain guidelines to follow, especially if the mower appears to be out of control.
The safest location to stop and park a mower is on level ground. However, if dealing with a slope, the mower should be positioned sideways across the slope with a block in front of the wheels when parked.
Employers should develop, implement and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for operating and shutting down mowers. Safe parking procedures include:
- Stopping on level, dry ground
- Disengaging the power take-off (PTO)
- Lowering the cutting decks to the ground
- Placing the mower in park
- Engaging the parking brake
- Turning off the engine and removing the key