Kentucky Association of Counties

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Kentucky Association of Counties


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Weed eater safety tips

From Steve Morrison
KACo Safety and Loss Control is committed to assisting members of the All Lines Fund (KALF) and the Workers Compensation Fund to identify, address and correct adverse loss exposures to personal injuries, liability exposures and property losses.

Weed eaters are useful and commonly used tools.

As with all tools careful operation and following appropriate safety tips helps to manage risks and minimize the chances of personal injury.


  1. Wear solid shoes, preferably heavy boots, to protect your feet.
  2. Wear shoes with good traction to minimize the risk of slipping and losing control of your weed eater.


  1. Wear long pants to protect your legs.
  2. Wear relatively tight-fitting clothing and tie back long hair. Loose clothing and long hair can get caught in the moving parts of a weed eater.

Gloves and eyewear

  1. Consider wearing work gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Wear eye protection. For gas powered weed eaters wear ear protection.


  1. Know how to operate the weed eater. Start by reading the manual.
  2. Use the correct fuel mixture if the weed eater is gas powered.
  3. Prior to starting the weed eater make sure the weed eater is in good operating condition and guards are in place.


  1. Prior to starting the weed eater, clear the area of stones, sticks, wire and other debris.
  2. Start the engine on firm ground in an open place for maximum control and best footing possible. Once the engine is running move into a cutting position.
  3. While weed eating, pay attention to what you are cutting, and what is going on around you. This is especially important next to roads and other sources of activity.
  4. Stop cutting if someone approaches within 30 to 60 feet to avoid striking them with flying debris.

Maintenance and storage

  1. When not actually cutting run the engine at an idle.
  2. Keep the weed eater’s cutting part beneath waist, and preferably knee, height.
  3. Stop the engine prior to setting the weed eater down.
  4. Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire when making repairs or working on the weed eater.
  5. Allow the engine to cool before refueling the weed eater.
  6. Minimize grass and other debris buildup on the weed eater to minimize the fire hazard.
  7. After use, secure the weed eater to avoid gas spillage and or damage when moving the unit.

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