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In light of tragedy, review safety measures

On May 7, a 63-year-old National Park Service employee was killed on-duty during mowing operations involving a zero turn mower at Blue Ridge Parkway. An investigation is ongoing into the factors that led to this accident.

In the meantime, all National Park Service units, including Natchez National Historical Park, are undergoing a mandatory stand-down and safety review of their normal mowing operations.

Public patience during this time is appreciated.

Once we have completed these processes, we will receive the green light to proceed with our regular grass-cutting at Melrose, the William Johnson House and Fort Rosalie.

This would provide a good opportunity for everyone who operates mowing equipment of any sort to review the safety messages in their owner’s manuals and take a few extra moments each time they get ready to mow to evaluate the conditions where they will be working.

Cutting wet grass, working on steep slopes, hitting unforeseen holes, even slowed reaction times over age 60 can quickly create life-threatening conditions with dangerous machinery, so please keep safety lessons fresh.

 

Kathleen Jenkins, superintendent

Natchez National Historical Park

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