Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tiltometer encourages safer mowing

The Tiltometer sounds like something you might find at a neighborhood carnival, but it’s no amusement park thrill ride. In fact, the Tiltometer’s purpose is to keep mower operators safe. Glendale Grounds Management, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, uses it and other safety innovations to prevent workplace injuries.

Designed by Glendale engineer Angus Lindsay and built by machinist Gavin Blair, this simple device allows mower operators to experience what a particular angled slope would actually feel like, reports the UK trade journal Horticulture Week. So, what exactly is a Tiltometer? It consists of a mower seat on a frame that can be jacked up to varying angles. It’s that simple. Glendale is also working with a manufacturer to produce an “inclinometer” to be installed on its commercial mowers.

Why is this important? Each year more than 80,000 people in the United States are injured in mowing accidents. Some of the most serious, including deaths, occur when mowing on steep hills or embankments, which leads me to remind you of the STARS (Safety Training Achieves Remarkable Success) program offered by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). If you're in the landscape business and you're not participating, you should be. — Ron Hall

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