Common Lawn Mower Injuries

July 8, 2020 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Lawn mowers are powerful, helpful tools, but they can also be very dangerous. Each year, many thousands of people suffer deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, crushed and broken bones, burns, and other injuries due to improper or careless use of lawn mowers.

Most lawn mower injuries can be prevented if you concentrate on your task and use common sense. Below are different types of lawn mower injuries and some basic tips for staying safe.

If an accident occurs, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. Raleigh Orthopaedic physicians are on call 24/7 at REX Healthcare Emergency Department.

Types of lawn mower injuries

1.    Cuts

Most commonly lawn mowers cut hands and feet because those body parts can easily get past blade protectors. The sharp blades on a mower can injure, cut the skin or even go deeper into the muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones.

2.    Burns

Burns from the lawn mower can happen anywhere on the body from the hot engine, gas tank or the exhaust. It can damage the skin, muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones.

3.    Broken bones

The sharp, rotating blades of a mower can cause broken bones. Open fractures are very common in lawn mower injuries and in when the skin over a broken bone is cut or torn. In addition to the broken bone, open fractures can cause serious injury to the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments, and increase the likelihood of infection and other complications in the wound and the bone.

4.    Amputations

Lawn mower injuries account for a large percentage of accidental partial or complete amputations. The energy transferred by a typical lawn mower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 Magnum pistol according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If an amputation occurs, the body part should be brought to the hospital as well. Depending on the incident, the body part may be reattached. If possible wrap the amputated body part in a damp bandage. Then, seal it in a plastic bag and put the plastic bag in a container with water and ice.

Lawn mower safety and accident prevention

Here are a few ways to help avoid lawn mower accidents:

  • Wear eye and hearing protection
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing the lawn — do not wear sandals.
  • Remove stones, toys and debris from the lawn before mowing to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • NEVER allow children to be passengers on riding mowers
  • Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a riding lawn mower.
  • Do not allow children to be playing on the lawn while the grass is being mowed
  • Use caution when mowing hills and slopes. Mow across slopes with a push mower to avoid pulling the mower over your feet if you happen to slip. Mow up and down slopes with a riding mower to prevent the mower from tipping over. Do not cut wet grass.
  • Use mowers that have protection over the hot and sharp parts
  • Always be aware and double check your surroundings before reversing or operating the lawn mower


Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Raleigh Orthopaedic is Wake County’s oldest and most experienced orthopedic practice, serving the Triangle and surrounding regions of central North Carolina since 1919. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our Raleigh Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.