Main accidents when using the brushcutter and how to prevent them

Garden maintenance can be more complicated if we do not have a good brushcutter, since this machine allows you to cut grass, all kinds of weeds and even some bushes, but the use of this tool requires minimum safety conditions that it is necessary to know to avoid accidents.

One of the reasons why many of us buy a brushcutter is its practicality, since it is one of the lightest and easiest machines to use among the different gardening tools, in addition, thanks to its design, it allows cutting vegetation in areas of difficult access. for a more professional finish. Also, the brushcutter allows a control of the cut that other devices do not offer. However, not all are advantages, as is commonly the case with this type of device, there are certain dangers associated with its use.

In the first place, it must be taken into account that the use of the brushcutter requires a minimum of technical knowledge, since it is the best way to prevent accidents to the user of the machine and guarantee the safety of the people who are around. In addition, it is important to carefully review the manual of each model, because not all work the same and manufacturers usually make recommendations on the correct way to use their products.

Currently there is a lot of information about the use of the brushcutter, but two instructions with the risks and preventive measures particularly call our attention; one has been prepared by the General Union of Workers of Castilla y León, while the other comes from the Ministry of Education and Employment of the Junta de Extremadura. Although these manuals have as their main objective the reduction of occupational accidents associated with the use of these tools, they are also very useful for domestic use.

What are the risks when using the brushcutter and how to prevent accidents?

Even if you have the best brushcutter of the moment, since it is a machine with a motor that can reach high speeds and is specially designed to make cuts, we can say that the danger when using this tool is considerably high, so first of all it is good to remember which should not be within the reach of children. Let’s look at some of the main accidents and how to prevent them.

The projection of objects and particles

We must take into account that the brushcutter is used to cut vegetation directly on the ground, but there is not only grass or grass, there may also be obstacles, such as loose stones, pieces of wood and even plastics that, when reached by the blade or the thread they are thrown in any direction, and may cause injury to the user of the machine, but also to other people present.

In this sense, it is vitally important to inspect the garden before starting the work, to pick up any object that could be thrown from the ground. However, it is important to know that the brushcutter will always generate particles from the grass itself and although these chips will have a smaller range than a hard object, it is necessary to take certain precautions. If we are going to mow the lawn at home, it is important to notify the other members of the family, in this way, the garden area will be completely clear during the work.

The brushcutting machine must have a protector that covers the back of the head, so that particles and other objects that are thrown out do not reach the user. In any case, the person making the cut must wear protective glasses against possible elements that can cause serious damage to the eyes.

Although it happens less, it is worth noting another possible risk, it is the brush cutters that have already completed their useful life. If the parts are already very worn, these tools can become an even more dangerous machine, as elements of their own structure could be thrown. It is also good to mention at this point that we should not intervene in any way in the brushcutter, since removing or adding any element may represent an additional risk.

The safest way to use the brushcutter in terms of the risk of being hit by objects or projected particles is to use complete personal protection equipment, we refer to a helmet with a screen or mesh, bib, apron and shin guards.

Other dangers when using the brushcutter

Some brush cutters run on fuel, so there is a risk of explosion or fire. This can happen especially when refilling the tank, therefore it is important that the user is not smoking while doing this process. In addition, to replenish the gasoline it is essential to completely turn off the machine and wait for it to cool down.

A latent risk that receives little attention is cuts to the user’s hands. It can happen when changing the blades or cleaning the machine, so it is necessary to stop it and disconnect it from the current in case it is electric. Also, the user of the tool must look to the sides before turning with the machine turned on, to avoid tripping over another person.

On the other hand, it must be remembered that the brushcutter is a noisy tool, so in the long run it can cause various problems in the hearing system. This can be avoided by using ear protection, either plugs or by wearing a forestry helmet, as it protects the head, eyes and ears.

It is necessary to know that the vibration of the machine in the long run can cause circulation problems in the fingers of the hands, therefore, rest periods of 10 minutes are recommended every hour of work or dedicate 1 hour to weeding and 1 hour to other activity, alternating work to avoid fatigue.

To avoid accidental cuts on the feet, the use of safety boots with metal toes is recommended. Also, there is the possibility of falls to the same level, so you should not run with the machine, even if it is turned off. Similarly, it is necessary to know which are the hot areas of the tool to avoid burns.


Junta de Castilla y León – Guide to chainsaws and brush cutters

Junta de Extremadura – Prevention sheet: Manual brush cutters

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