Snowblowers are extremely dangerous tools when not operated correctly, and many people have caused accidents by not being careful. Serious injuries might occur to fingers and toes, including deep cuts, burns, crushed and broken bones. Snow blower Injuries can happen to operators of all ages, so safety tips must be followed regardless of age. Following are some simple yet crucial tips to keep you and those around you safe and sound.
Important Snowblower Safety Tips
- Snowblower User Manual
First of all, studying the user’s manual is one of the most important things you can do to knowing the safe operation of your snow blower. Do this before you even start up the unit for the first time. Always use all machinery when you are at your most alert state. Drinking alcoholic beverages and taking some prescription or any other drugs can impair your judgment. Never use these before operating a snow blower.
- Protective Wear
It is suggested you have a pair of ear plugs to protect your ears from injury. Depending on the type of snowblower, the amount of noise they make can vary a lot. Electric snowblowers are usually quiet but gas powered ones are generally extremely loud. So, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Further, Be aware of the clothes you are wearing while operating the unit. If clothing is too loose, they can easily get tangled in the moving parts. It is ideal to be wearing protective boots and rugged clothing.
- Safe Operation
During operation of the snowblower keep hands and feet clear of any moving components and always make sure that children and pets are at a safe distance. Snowblowers are particularly dangerous because they can pick up and eject small objects making them fast moving projectiles.
Don’t leave the unit running when unattended, even if it’s for a brief moment. Sometimes these things have a mind of their own. Completely shut off the engine at all times. Snowblowers can easily become fouled by branches and other rubble. Always use a some type of pole such as a broom handle and never your hands.
If you know heavy snow is expected, clearing the area free of debris prior to being covered by snow can make snow clearing much easier. Snowblowers with gas engines have identical risks as other gas powered machines so deal with them accordingly. Do not operate a snowblower in indoor areas. All gas powered engines give off gases that are toxic. Test the unit either out in the open or in a well ventilated area. Store fuel in approved cans only in a safe location clear of the hands of small children.
Safety guards and shields need to be in good working order for them to protect you as designed. They should never be removed. Check with your manual for any further details on the protective options of your particular brand.
One safety issue with electric snowblowers is the power cord. Take care that the cord is not in your way and is clear of any moving parts. Always use a cord that has been approved to be used outdoors and an outlet which has ground fault interrupting protection.
Always do a thorough test of your machine at the start of winter. Gas powered snowblowers require more maintenance than electric models and need the same types of maintenance as your automobile engine. The oil level and spark plug should be checked on a regular basis and also the oil changed at least annually prior to the first use of the season. Fill up the fuel tank when the engine is cold, never when it’s on or when it’s hot. Examine the power cord on an electric snowblower. Ensure that it is not frayed or damaged and replace if needed.
The snow blower can sometimes be our best friend, but understanding these basic safety and maintenance tips will help ensure that you never have to visit the emergency room because of it.
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