Dead-Better read this one

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tharrell, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    This is what we all fear. I don't care about broken glass. This is why you have insurance.

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    A woman was killed while walking to work Wednesday after she was struck in the head by a flying piece of steel in a freak lawnmowing accident in north Queensland, Australia.

    The 42-year-old was walking along a path in Townsville, just after 8 a.m. local time when she was hit by the piece of pipe, the Townsville Bulletin reported.

    It is thought that a slasher, a tool used to clear bushes and grassland, being towed by a small tractor ran over the pipe, which had been hidden in long grass.

    The tractor was mowing a vacant block next to a Liquor Land bottle store and was believed to be operated by a private contractor.

    An ambulance was called at 8:12 a.m. but the woman died instantly.

    It was initially thought a mower blade caused the fatal injuries.

    A distraught witness described the tragic event as a "freak accident.
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    That's why the mulch kit or guard or OCDC needs to be in place anytime it is pointed anywhere near people or property. And why someone with some SENSE needs to be operating it.

    I'd also point out that liability insurance will probably be worthless if you put an undocumented, or legal but non-disclosed and paid cash off the books, underage, or other questionable type employee on the machine. Read the fine print on the policy. Insurance companies aren't stupid. They probably don't want to cover you for the acts of a day laborer, sub- 18 y/o teenager, or non-english speaker you didn't bother to train beyond what you could point out quickly on what is in some ways a deadly machine.

    Some of our budding "titans of the lawn industry" might want to remember that before they build their empires on labor provided with faked social security numbers or paid cash off the books. Kill someone and the insurance company WILL send an investigator to check your operation out. They're dying for any excuse to deny your claim.

    Then someone will come and take your bass boat, your 4 wheeler, your collection of Marie Osmond collectible dolls, and all those mowers and trucks you were so proud of. : )
  3. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Posts: 293

  4. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Posts: 2,313

    This is what I hype about on here all the time but most on here don't want to take experienced advice and admit someone may actually know more than they do and been around the block a time or two. It kills me to see threads about taking guards off trimmers(I've done more damage with a trimmer than I've ever done with a mower) and most people on here don't see anything wrong with it. Or you have people complaining about paying a little extra for ROPS but they drive around in a $50,000 truck and love to show off their garage full of toys. Or what about the one's who thing insurance is a waste of money. If you think this way, you may want to find a second career. Any true and experienced professional doesn't have to see the logic in all of this.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Like said previously, this type of accident is completely preventable. And its preventable in very simple ways, like keeping guards in place, adding features on like an OCDC, and keeping an "eye" on your surroundings. Insurance is a necessity, but there really is no reason that you should ever have to use it for accidents like this, ones that are completely preventable.
  6. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Posts: 2,313

    I agree about safety but I'm not sure if I agree that all accidents can be prevented. I had a worker who fell off my trailer last year, broke his hip, had emergency surgery, and was out the entire season-cost my insurance $30,000. Came back, been there a month, fell and broke his wrist while using a 21" on flat ground. The trailer he fell from was only one foot off the ground and had no sides and absolutely no obstructions-You tell me.:confused: I'm not sure how you could have prevented that? That's why I stress worker's comp.
  7. rain man

    rain man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,794

    Worked in a bucket truck 20 years. Several co-workers hurt over the years. Good friend fell and broke his back just this year. My partner with whom I worked a lot praticed safety. We would correct each other if either of us let down our guard.

    I have a lot of respect for people who pratice safety. Usually it also means that they have their game on in other aspects of their business as well. Accidents do happen but we can lower the odds.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Let me rephrase a little bit...I was more referring to accidents like the one mentioned in the story. Ones where by using a little common sense can easily be prevented.

    Accidents do happen though, just like the ones you described....but ones involving equipment can usually be prevented.
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    Brad, what makes you think the person/owner of the machine didn't have all the safety devices in place when it happened? What makes you think that the mowers discharge side was pointing in her direction? How do you know it didn't come out of the left side of the deck?
    I got news for ya, foreign objects can be thrown (at a very high rate of speed mind you) out of the deck in ANY direction, not out of just the discharge side. No safety device on a mower can stop something like this from happening.

    Maybe if the guy on the mower had stopped to take a dump before he got there, the timing would have been way off and she probably would have never been in the area when he was cutting. Then again, it could have been a kid walking or a old man with a cain in the same spot at the same time and it could have hit them. Forget the kid, the kid would be too short and it would have just whizzed over his head and maybe just take out a car window instead.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,047

    Well, to say THIS accident was preventable may not be true. Them brush hogs can really chuck stuff, and far. I know mine doesn't even have a discharge chute and the chain guard on the front was an option that I added to protect me, the operator. When you're rough cut moving, you never really know what's hiding in the grass. You can walk it over and still not see it.

    Yes, it's the equipment operators responsibility to operate the equipment as safely as possible, but sometimes things just happen.

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