Power lawnmower injuries

William W Robertson
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 2003, (409): 37-42
Power lawnmowers are among the most ubiquitous household tools, yet they pose significant danger to operator and bystanders. Despite of the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission's push to have safety standards established for walk-behind mowers in 1982 and for ride-on mowers in 1986, by 2000 approximately 80,000 injuries nationwide were estimated to be associated with power mowers. Large numbers of these injuries are thought to be preventable, especially those to individuals younger than 14 years. Orthopaedic surgeons treat a significant number of the injuries associated with mower use including lacerations, amputations, fractures, infections, and skin defects. Therefore, the orthopaedic community has a stake in the prevention and outcome of these injuries. To date, changes in mower design have seemed to be more successful than user education programs in decreasing the numbers of these injuries. Involving orthopaedists in safety education programs to help prevent injuries associated with power mower use may be one method of increasing user knowledge and preventing injury.

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