SafetyWatch: Aerator operating hazards

August 23, 2018 -  By

There are several types of operating hazards that may occur when running an aerator.

  • Personal hazards are hazards that may harm you, the operator.
  • Bystander hazards are hazards that may harm co-workers or other bystanders.
  • Property hazards may harm the equipment or other property.

Don’t leave an aerator unattended. Always park it on flat ground when not in use. The aerator can roll, especially when the tines aren’t in the ground on turf. It also may roll during transport unless it’s securely tied down. Keeping the tines in the lowered position on turf when not in use may stop it from rolling unexpectedly.

Running the aerator with the tines down over hard surfaces or any other surface you don’t want to aerate may damage the tines and the ground surface. Lowering the tines on a medium density surface like a wooden trailer bed is considered OK by some managers. Ask your supervisor what he prefers.

The tines may penetrate anything on or beneath the surface, including sprinkler heads and sprinkler lines. Remember, most sprinkler heads are at the edges of lawns and gardens. Walking the property prior to aerating may help identify sprinkler heads and other hazards. Report any damage you may have caused to your supervisor.

Be careful when turning or maneuvering near cars or other valuable property. The aerator is long and can be awkward to maneuver. Its handle could scratch a vehicle or building.

Aerators also can move with considerable force when operated at full ground speed—slow down as you near the end of a pass or when turning, so you don’t run into objects like cars or landscape plants.

Video footage provided by Greenius

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