How to Keep Young Workers Safe in Landscaping

When operating power lawn mowers and other powered yard-care equipment, you must be aware of the safety practices you need to follow. It is important to be informed and use extreme caution because general liability insurance can and most likely does exclude these types of injuries because of the assumption of risk.


  • You must be at least 16 years old to operate lawn mowers and other powered lawn-care equipment, such as leaf blowers and nylon string-style weed whackers. Both push and riding lawn mowers are allowed.
  • Nobody under the age of 18 can legally operate commercial-grade powered equipment. This includes trimmers with blades or shears, chainsaws, powered thatchers, aerators, rototillers and chippers, and mowers pulled with a tractor.
  • Minors are also prohibited from performing work where the noise exposure requires hearing protection.


Operating this equipment can be hazardous under certain conditions. You need to especially watch out for:

  • Sharp blades
  • Rocks and sticks thrown from the equipment
  • Heat illness – Drink plenty of fluids; don’t wait to drink until you are thirsty. Wear cool, comfortable clothing, a hat and sunscreen.
  • Foreign objects or debris on the ground

Safety Practices

Keep the following in mind for safe operation at your worksite:

  • Read the operator’s manual and get proper instruction before operating any equipment.
  • Be sure you know how to stop the mower or motor at a moment’s notice.
  • Give complete and undivided attention to the job. No horseplay is allowed at any time.
  • Never disable or bypass safety devices.
  • Wear close-fitting clothes and closed-toe shoes with traction soles. Never operate equipment while barefoot or when wearing thongs or sandals.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended.
  • Keep the area of operation clear of all persons, especially small children.
  • Mow in a forward direction whenever possible.
  • Wear gloves to service or adjust equipment, especially when working with blades. If you do not have the proper training or authority to repair equipment, report the malfunction to your supervisor.
  • Handle fuel safely. Before refueling, stop the engine and allow it to cool. Wipe up spilled fuel or allow it to evaporate before starting an engine. Always fill gas-powered machines outdoors.
  • The use of safety glasses and hearing protection is highly recommended.

I​f you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer service for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.

708.597.5900 x130

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