Lawnmower operators risk serious workplace injuries


The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns employers and employees nationwide, including California, of the dangers posed by riding lawnmowers to workers nationwide. Statistics indicate that each year, 20,000 lawnmower-related injuries occur, and 75 lives are lost in such accidents every year — many of them are work-related. A significant number of the injuries result in amputations.

Examples of such work-related fatalities include a seasonal landscaping employee who operated the lawnmower on the incline of a hill when the mower rolled over. It landed on top of the 21-year-old worker, causing fatal blunt force trauma to his neck and head. In another case, also on a hill, an experienced landscaping employee lost control of the machine and landed in a pond. He became trapped under the water by the heavy mower. Efforts by good Samaritans who administered CPR after pulling him out of the water were not successful.

Then there was the elderly farmer who also lost control while mowing on a hill by a pond. He was ejected from the mower, landed in the water and drowned. Safety authorities cited these examples to remind employers and employees not to disregard the hazards posed by lawnmowers.

When the lives of loved ones are lost as the result of workplace injuries, the surviving family members might be eligible for survivors’ benefits. These benefits can be claimed from the California workers’ compensation insurance program. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can assist with the claims process to obtain compensation to cover end-of-life costs and a wage-replacement package.

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