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Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other claims like Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Slip & Fall, and Products Liability before you explore the Article below.

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  • Riding Lawnmower Safety
  • Chain Saw Kickback Hazard
  • Power Lawnmowers


  • Power Lawnmowers

    Even though millions of homeowners routinely use power lawnmowers every year without mishap, there is still a fairly constant parade of people into hospital emergency rooms with injuries from walk-behind powermowers. Most often, patients are treated for minor injuries and released. However, emergency surgery is sometimes required to treat severe injuries resulting from hand or foot contact with the rotating blade; toe amputations are not uncommon with homeowners cutting grass. In 1986, some 37,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for mower injuries, according to recent estimates by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Ever since the Commission's founding in 1973, walk-behind power rotary lawnmowers have been the subject of ongoing research by engineering, human factors, economists and epidemiological personnel. Their efforts were instrumental in developing the federal safety standard for power mowers which took effect June 30, 1982. All walk behind power rotary lawnmowers manufactured since then must meet new safety requirements designed to reduce hand and foot contact with the moving blade.

    For example, with most rotary mowers built before June 1982, the blade rotated as long as the engine was operating. Problems arose when wet grass clippings jammed the discharge chute. In these situations, the owner's manual emphasized that the engine should be shut down first, and that the blade should be allowed to come to a complete stop before the user reached into the discharge chute to remove the clippings.

    To avoid having to restart the engine, users frequently allowed the motor to operate while they tried to remove the clippings with their hand. Many homeowners had fingers amputated by the rotating blade; others were more fortunate and only sustained severe lacerations.

    THE CPSC STANDARD

    If you purchase a new walk-behind rotary lawnmower, the machine must meet the June 30, 1982 federal standard, and must be certified as complying with the regulation. Some of the safety features of the regulation include:

    The blade brake control. On all new mowers, an automatic brake stops the blade in three seconds when the operator releases his/her grip on the handle-mounted control bar. This feature prevents the rotary blade from operating unless the operator actuates the control. It also requires the operator to maintain continuous contact with the control to keep the blade operating, and stops the blade completely within three seconds when the operator releases the control. If the mower only has a manual start, the control must stop the blade without shutting down the engine, unless the manual starting control is located within 24 inches from the top of the handle, or the mower has a 360 degree foot shield. For user protection, the mower must also have a secondary control which must be activated before the mower can be operated.

    Foot shield. The area at the rear of the mower that might be reached by the foot when using the mower is subjected to a probing test using a foot-like probe. With the mower wheels on the ground, this area is probed to assure that neither the foot probe nor any part of the mower (such as a trailing shield) will enter the path of the blade. Shields at this rear area are also subjected to a strength test and an obstruction test. Shields at the rear of the mower which must be moved to attach the grass catcher or other equipment are also examined. These shields must either close automatically or prevent operation of the mower (when open) unless the grass catcher is present.

    Labels. New mowers must have a warning label near the discharge chute cautioning users to keep hands and feet away from the chute. The mower must also have a certification label with the inscription, "Meets CPSC blade safety requirements."

    MEETS CPSC BLADE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

    This information came from a
    CPSC online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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    DEMPSEY, ROBERTS & SMITH, LTD.
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