National Safety Council, Toro and Exmark Partner to Offer Safety Training Program for Zero-Turn Radius Mowers

In November 2005, the National Safety Council (NSC), in partnership with mower manufacturers Toro and Exmark, introduced a new training program to instruct commercial lawn care equipment operators on the safe operation of zero-turn radius mowers. Since its release, professional landscape contractors have report benefiting from sharing the Commercial Equipment Operators’ (CEO) Safety Training Program with their work crews.

Doug Clark, landscape maintenance manager at Lawrence Landscape in Lawrence, Kan., recently purchased the CEO training program to help promote safe zero-turn radius mowing techniques among his workers.

“We thought it was important to be proactive and emphasize safety by conducting a training session using this program,” Clark said. “We have a lot of Spanish-speaking workers on our crew, and it’s effective because the training materials are offered in both English and Spanish.”

Designed for field or classroom use, the CEO training package includes laminated “tailgate” training flip charts with a trainer’s script on the back of every page, an instructional DVD to guide trainers, plus participant handouts to help reinforce the lessons learned in each module. The flipcharts include both English and Spanish text and are enclosed in a durable, weather-resistant carrying case that doubles as a presentation easel. Each page uses large photos and text to illustrate proper zero-turn radius operation and explain the risks of operating the mowers improperly. The training kit can be ordered on the NSC’s Web site,, for a price of $249.95.

The NSC, Toro, and Exmark also developed a special animated Flash presentation highlighting the significance of proper equipment training, which can be viewed at

“Proper instruction—through effective operator training—is key to the successful operation of zero-turn equipment,” said Sam Steel, director of projects and grants for the NSC. “It can help commercial lawn care firms reduce accidents, personal injury claims, operating costs, and property damage.”

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