Every year thousands of people are seriously injured using and maintaining their snow blowers. Follow these safety tips so you don’t become a statistic.
Before you start the engine
- Thoroughly read the manufacturer’s manual for your specific snow blower. Make sure you understand all the recommended safety procedures before you start the engine.
- Make sure you are properly dressed. Don’t wear loose fitting clothing that might get caught in the snow blower’s moving parts. Make sure you are able to see clearly and wear safety glasses. Wear proper footwear for slippery surfaces that you will be encountering
- Make sure that the area you will be working in is free from objects that might clog the snow blower. Pick up doormats, wires, boards, toys, and other debris that might become logged in the machine.
- If you are operating a gas snow blower, only start the engine when it is outside and not inside a garage or shed. You could become a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Add fuel only when the snow blower is off.
- Most snow blowers are quite loud so it is best to wear ear protection to protect your hearing.
While operating the snow blower
- Always keep a firm grip on the snow blower . If it hits an object it could go out of control if your grip is not firm.
- Avoid blowing snow onto people and vehicles.
- If using an electric snow blower make sure the extension cord you are using is rated for outside use. Also, make sure that the extension cord is well away from the spinning auger of the machine.
If the snow blower engine jams, follow this VERY important procedure
The major cause of snow blower related injuries is clearing the clogs
- Make sure the snow blower is turned off and then disengage the clutch.
- Wait for 5 seconds after the snow blower is turned off to give the blades enough time to stop rotating.
- Don’t use your hand to clear the snow or the clogged item. ALWAYS use a boom handle or some other tool to clear it. Some manufacturer’s have a tool specifically for this purpose.
- Never put your hand down the chute of the snow blower or near the blades.
- Do not remove any of the safety devices that are on your machine. They are there for a reason!
- Never drink before operating the snow blower.
- Don’t allow anyone in front of your blower.
Remember-Safety First at All Times
Each year thousands of people are injured because they did not properly follow the safety directions of their snow blowers. Over 90% of the injuries result in serious damage to the hands and even amputations of one or more fingers. No matter what kind of snow blower you own this could all be avoided if you simply follow the safety precautions of the manufacturer’s and use some common sense when handling the snow blower.