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Using Your Lawn Mower on a Slope? Get Safety Tips from The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute – Operating Any Lawn Mower on a Slope Requires Caution, Vigilance

March 19, 2015

Yards, sports fields and other mowing areas are not always flat, and consumers should exercise caution when operating lawn mowers on uneven or sloped terrain. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) issues the following safety tips to remind consumers about safe procedures when operating lawn mowers on or near slopes.

“If you are using your lawn mower on a slope, it is very important that you pay attention to the terrain, be vigilant of risks and know how to fully operate your mower,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “These best practices can help lawn mower operators avoid potential mishaps.”

Safety tips:

  • Operating any mower on a slope requires extra caution.Slopes are a major factor related to loss of control and tip over accidents, which can result in severe injury.
  • Use the right equipment for the task. Don’t select a product that may be too small or unsuitable for the job. Ask your retailer or dealer for assistance.
  • Know how to operate your mower. Read the operator’s manual to understand the controls. Know how to stop your mower quickly and disengage the controls.
  • Survey the terrain. Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks, or other hidden objects.  Uneven terrain could overturn the machine. Tall grass can hide obstacles.
  • Be vigilant of risks, especially when operating on a slope.  On a slope there is a risk of slip and slide resulting in a loss of control. Be aware of the risks of rolling backwards, dropping off a wall or bank and the potential to overturn into a water hazard.

See our fact sheet on safe operation practices on slopes and visit for more safety tips and information.

About OPEI
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit

Ami Neiberger-Miller, On Behalf of OPEI