Florida Landscape Worker Critically Injured After Mower Overturns into Pond

Updated Jul 17, 2014

A Florida landscape worker was critically injured after his lawnmower overturned into a local pond.

Other workers in the area said they were performing CPR on the injured worker when officers arrived, according to News4Jax.

The worker was taken to a local hospital, and an investigation is still ongoing.

Landscape workers need to know a variety of things before turning on the mower, including working around slopes and ponds.

Mower accidents result in more than 55,000 injuries annually, and some 75 people die from their injuries, according to the American Orthopedic and Foot Society. Most of those accidents occur on slopes.

Additionally, all landscape workers need to know how to swim. Approximately 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning.

Here are a few safety tips:

Safe slope operation

  • If you cannot back up the slope or if you feel uneasy on it, do not mow it with a ride-on machine.
  • Mow up and down slopes, not across.
  • Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks or other hidden objects. Uneven terrain could overturn the machine.
  • Choose a low ground speed so you will not have to stop or shift while on a slope.
  • Do not mow on wet or damp grass. Tires may lose traction.
  • Always keep the machine in gear when going down slopes. Do not shift to neutral and coast downhill.
  • Avoid starting, stopping or turning on a slope.
  • Keep all movement on slopes slow and gradual.
  • Use extra care while operating the machine with grass catchers or other attachments; they can affect the stability of the machine. Do not use them on steep slopes.
  • Do not try to stabilize the machine by putting your foot on the ground.
  • Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments.

Prevent drowning 

  • Before and after each use, inspect the life jacket/vest for defects that could affect strength or buoyancy.
  • Have at least one crewmember who is trained in CPR, first aid and basic emergency-response skills on the jobsite.
  • Encourage employees to learn how to swim. Pair poor swimmers with strong swimmers if working around water.
  • Provide basic water-safety training to all employees. Local Red Cross chapters and community centers may offer these courses.

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