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October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Powered Lawnmowers

Self-Inspection Checklist

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Guidelines

This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the general industry standard 29 CFR 1910.243(e). It applies to walk-behind and riding rotary mowers. Selected design specifications required in 29 CFR 1910.243(e) have not been included as part of this checklist. Please consult the OSHA regulations for additional details in this area. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or EPA standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation.

    General Requirements

  1. Are all power-driven chains, belts, and gears positioned or otherwise guarded to prevent contact during starting, mounting, and operation? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(1)(ii)]
  2. Is a shutoff device provided to stop operation of a motor or engine? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(1)(iii)]

    Note: This device must require manual reactivation to restart the motor or engine. [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(1)(iii)]

  3. Are all positions of the operating controls clearly identified? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(1)(iv)]
  4. Are the words Caution: be sure the operating control(s) is in neutral before starting the engine (or similar wording) clearly visible at an engine-starting control point on self-propelled mowers? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(1)(v)]
  5. Walk-Behind and Riding Rotary Mowers Is the mower blade enclosed except on the bottom, and the enclosure extended to or below the lowest cutting point of the blade in the lowest blade position? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(2)(i)]
  6. If guards must be removed to install a catcher assembly, is a warning affixed to the mower near the opening stating that the mower must not be used without either the catcher assembly or the guard in place? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(2)(ii)(a)]
  7. Are openings in the blade enclosure that are intended for discharge of grass limited to a maximum vertical angle of the 30-degree opening measured from the lowest blade position? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(2)(iii)]
  8. Is the word Caution (or stronger wording) placed on the mower at or near the discharge opening? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(2)(v)]
  9. After declutching or shutting off the power, do the blades stop rotating from the manufacturer's maximum speed within 15 seconds? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(2)(vii)]
  10.  

    Walk-Behind Rotary Mowers

  11. Is the horizontal angle of the opening(s) in the blade enclosure intended for the discharge of grass directed so it does not contact the operator? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(i)]
  12. Is one of the following found at all openings in the blade enclosure intended for the discharge of grass? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(ii)]
  13. A minimum unobstructed horizontal distance of 3 inches from the end of the discharge chute to the blade tip circle [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(ii)(a)]
  14. A rigid bar fastened across the discharge opening, secured to prevent removal without the use of tools. The bottom of the bar shall be no higher than the bottom edge of the blade enclosure. [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(ii)(b)]
  15. Is the highest point on the blade enclosure front (except discharge openings) 1-1/4 inches or less above the lowest cutting point of the blade in the lowest blade position? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(iii)]
  16. Is the mower handle fastened to the mower to prevent loss of control by uncoupling? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(iv)]
  17. Is a positive upstop or latch provided for the mower handle in the normal operating position? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(v)]

    Note: The upstop shall not be disengaged during normal operation of the mower.

  18. Do wheel-drive disengaging controls, except deadman controls, move opposite to the direction of the vehicle motion to disengage the drive? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(3)(vii)]

    Note: Deadman controls shall automatically interrupt the power to a drive when the operator's activating force is removed, and may operate in any direction to disengage the drive.

  19. Riding Rotary Mowers

  20. Are openings placed so that grass or debris will not discharge directly toward any part of the operator's seat in the normal operating position? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(ii)]
  21. Is one of the following present at all openings in the blade enclosures intended for grass discharge? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(iii)]
  22. A minimum unobstructed horizontal distance of 6 inches from the end of the discharge chute to the blade tip circle [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(iii)(a)]
  23. A rigid bar fastened across the discharge opening, secured to prevent removal without the use of tools. The bottom of the bar shall be no higher than the bottom edge of the blade enclosure. [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(iii)(b)]
  24. Are mowers provided with stops to prevent jackknifing or locking of the steering mechanisms? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(iv)]
  25. Are vehicle-stopping means provided? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(v)]
  26. Do hand-operated wheel-drive disengaging controls move opposite to the direction of the vehicle motion to disengage the drive? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(vi)]
  27. Do foot-operated, wheel-drive disengaging controls disengage the drive when depressed? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(vi)]
  28. Do deadman controls (both hand- and foot-operated) automatically interrupt power to the drive when the mower's actuating force is removed, and operate in any direction to disengage the drive? [29 CFR 1910.243(e)(4)(vi)]

 

 
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