December Safety Tip
Snow Blower Safety
- Avoid wearing loose clothing. Loose pants, jackets and scarves can easily become tangled in the moving parts of a snow blower.
- Wear sturdy footwear with good traction. Appropriate footwear will help to prevent slip and fall injuries. Consider using shoe or boot grippers. These are also referred to as ice cleats or spikes; no matter what you call them, they will reduce the risk of a slip and fall.
- Stay focused. Pay close attention to the task at hand and refrain from the use of medication, drugs or alcohol.
- Start the machine outside. Do not start your snow blower in a garage or shed. Gas-powered snow blowers produce dangerous carbon monoxide
- Protect your ears. Wear ear plugs or other hearing protection. Most gas-powered snow blowers are loud and can cause hearing damage.
- Think about where the snow is blowing. Never direct the discharge chute toward people, traffic, or areas where damage can occur.
- Pace yourself. Although snow blowers are safer and faster than shoveling, you should still take rest breaks.
Clogged Snow blowers
When dealing with snow blowers, hand or finger injuries are most common, including amputation. This typically occurs when the user tries to clear a clogged auger or discharge chute with their hands. Follow these tips to stay safe from the dangers of a clogged snow blower.
To keep the snow blower from clogging:
- Work at a brisk pace. When the blade move faster, the snow is less likely to stick.
- Consider snow blowing several times during a wet or heavy snowfall.
- Spray the blades and chute with cooking oil spray.
If the snow blower becomes clogged:
- Turn off the engine OFF!
- Make sure blades have stopped rotating before trying to clear the clog.
- Use a clearing tool or stick to clear the clog.
- Never use your hands or feet. A clogged auger will have residual energy that can trap your hands even when it is turned off!
- Keep all shields in place.
- Again, keep your hands and feet away from all moving parts.