Noise management: Edgers

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Edgers are used in most workplaces that have lawns and employ gardeners. Edgers can be used for long periods of time and can exceed 85 dB(A). Hearing protection is required for operators of edgers. 

Maintenance

  • Ensure all covers are securely fastened. Check for rattles. 
  • Check that the muffler is in good condition (no holes) and is bolted firmly to the side of the engine. 
  • Operate the throttle control and make sure that it is in good working order and regulates the revs of the machine in a smooth manner. Some edgers have a plastic carburettor body and if not serviced regularly, can suffer from a sticking cam and lifter assembly within the carburettor. 
  • The blades should be free running (not hitting against guards) and not worn down. 
  • Maintain services to edger to ensure efficient running and easy starting. 

Note: Machines that do not operate efficiently require higher revs and make more noise.  

Noise control

The noise level of a four stroke engine can be reduced by fitting a 'Low Tone' muffler to the engine. These mufflers reduce the noise level by approximately 3 dB(A) more than the standard muffler and are available from most mowing equipment suppliers. 

Operator control

  • Do not "over rev" machine - use only enough power required to perform work. 
  • Mark normal operating revs on throttle control. 
  • Avoid hitting curbs with blade. 
  • Ensure staff are adequately trained in correct use of the edger. 

Alternatives

  • Use manual methods such as a spade or step on type edger where possible. 
  • In some country locations gardeners have reported that use of a broad spectrum herbicide has resulted in the edger being no longer used. In this process the grass overlapping a path is poisoned with a spray. A neat edge can be achieved with practice. 
  • On replacing the edger, specify and purchase a four-stroke edger (these tend to be quieter) fitted with a low tone muffler. Test run several edgers and take the noise levels into consideration when making your final choice.  

Adapted from the Noise Control Manual for Schools with the permission of the Education Department of Western Australia.

 

WorkSafe
Fact sheet
Last updated 14 May 2014

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