The accident: A maintenance crew member is mowing a lawn, but after a couple of rows, the grass bag fills up. He releases the drive-clutch lever and flywheel brake lever to stop the engine. With his left hand, he removes the bag and places his right hand into the discharge opening to remove clumps of grass that have built up. As he does that, the mower blades are still turning, and they strike his hand. He sustains lacerations to his index and ring finger, and his middle finger is amputated to the first joint. His co-worker sees the accident and drives him to a nearby medical facility where he is treated for his injuries.
The bottom line: The crew member should have blocked the metal rotary blades on the mower after disengaging the engine to prevent inadvertent movement of the blades. If a mower becomes clogged, the operator should turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire before trying to clear debris from the discharge chute. Here are additional mower safety tips to prevent similar accidents.