Snowblowing Injury Prevention - Operating your Snow Blower Safely
The first snow fall of the year has come, and you are gearing up to clean off your driveways and walkways. You are anxious to use your snow blower again or for the first time. Before you head outdoors read over some safety tips.
Safety Precautions for Preventing Snow Blower Injuries:
Go over these instructions thoroughly along with your operator's manual before you use your snow thrower each time. You can never be too informed, and you can never be too cautious. Do it for your fingers, your hands, your toes, and your life.
- Plan a route and prepare the area before the snowfall hits. Remove any large rocks, debris, and anything else from the area you will use your snowblower.
- Mark banks, manholes, stumps, curbs, small bushes and edges with stakes or flags so you will not get too close, or run into them.
- Read your operator's manual.
- Do not drink alcohol before operating any machinery.
- If your snowthrower jams, turn it OFF, disengage the clutch and wait for ten seconds for the blades to completely stop rotating. Always beware that the motor and the augers recoil briefly after you turn the engine off.
- Never use your hands to remove snow from the snowblower, use a long stick or a device made to remove debris: SnoStik.
- Never add fuel to a gas operated snow blower when the engine is running or hot.
- Never use fuel that is left over from the last season, or fuel left over in your lawn mower.
- Add fuel outside and always keep the gas can capped and away from any source that may ignite.
- Never warm up the machine indoors, such as your shed or garage.
- Always keep feet and hands away from all moving parts.
- Never clear any grade steeper than 35 percent.
- When clearing a slope run snow blower up and down, never across.
- If you need to make repairs/mechanical adjustments turn off the equipment and remove the sparkplug wire.
- Dress Appropriately. Avoid wearing long scarves, or any clothing that is loose and may get caught.
- Use "continuous-operator" (aka. Dead-man) controls.
- Never leave your machine running unattended.
- If your snow blower is electric: Be aware of your power cord at all times. Begin near the outlet and work away to minimize chances of running over the cord. If you should sever the cord electrocution/shock may occur.
- Do not touch areas of the machine that get hot ... such as the engine, or the muffler. Burns are common.
- Be aware of discharge chute's angle. Make sure all animals and people are not in danger of being hit with debris from the chute.
- When clearing a gravel drive clear the gravel by 1 inch you do not want the gravel to get into the exhaust chute, it can be very dangerous as it will be projected.