Lawn mowers and similar equipment and machinery expose consumers to a variety of hazards for which they may not be adequately prepared. The average person making use of consumer turf care equipment is not an expert in the performance of machinery, a truth that is unfortunately exemplified through, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the 80,000 emergency room visits each year because of lawn mower injuries. The newly-revised ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 – Consumer Turf Care Equipment – Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers – Safety Specifications has been released to assure safety with the use of these machines.
The standard accomplishes this in multiple ways. In addition to including specifications directly affiliated with safety, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 strives to provide the consumer with uniform operating environments, an action that in turn can affirm user safety as it limits the introduction of surprises throughout anticipated use. This all derives from standard specifications in the controls, guards and shields, electrical components, and other attachments/implements/accessories, as well as servicing guidelines, for pedestrian-controlled and ride-on lawn mowers for personal use around homes.
Some of these ideas are confronted by the CPSC standard, SAFETY STANDARD FOR WALK-BEHIND POWER LAWN MOWERS, CPSC 16 CFR PART 1205, which covers certain requirements for consumer walk-behind power lawn mowers with cutting widths less than 30 inches. A copy of this CPSC standard included in ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017.
However, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 goes beyond these requirements, covering a multitude of lawn mower types. Specifically, it is applicable for reel and rotary pedestrian-controlled lawn mowers, reel and rotary ride-on lawn mowers, ride-on lawn tractors with mower attachments, ride-on lawn and garden tractors with mower attachments, and lever-steer and zero-turn ride-on mowers.
Changes to the ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 standard are numerous, with some alterations being needed due to the recent revisions of associated standards. The new mower safety standard better harmonizes itself with these documents through these changes. For example, in alignment with ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 – Commercial Turf Care Equipment – Safety Specifications, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 adds pressurized hydraulic hose guarding, updates the stored energy safety sign, and specifies that guards which need frequent access may be no-tools for both pedestrian-controlled mowers and ride-on mowers.
Aside from these harmonization efforts, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 contains the following changes:
- Revised other openings
- Moved grass catcher durability message to the instructions
- Defined an operator target for grass catcher structural integrity test
- Redefined operator target for thrown object test
- Single-color only safety warnings are not permissible
- Requirements added for mowers not subject to CPSC 1205 regulation
- Added ROPS exemption for Out-Front Zero-Turn mowers, 400-600 kg, stability >25 degrees 220.127.116.11
- Limited sudden traction test to fixed-ratio transmission units
- Added figure for new operator target for grass catcher
- Updated definitions
ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 – Consumer Turf Care Equipment – Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers – Safety Specifications is available on the ANSI Webstore.