Technology is wonderful! Chain saws, power tools, log splitters, etc… all save us a ton of time and energy; ditto for the snow blower. No more backbreaking snow shovel work, just power up the blower and get going.
With all power tools, however, there is an increased risk factor. Statistics tell us that snow blowers are responsible for 6,000 emergency room visits and close to 1,000 amputations a year in the US.
Here are some safety tips to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
- Never, ever, put your hands into the discharge chute. Most snow blower injuries occur when the user tries to clear the auger or the discharge chute. If the auger or chute become clogged, turn the blower off and use the tool that came with the blower or a broom handle, to clear away the obstruction. Never use your hands.
- Keep all body part well clear of all moving parts.
- Tuck in scarves and any other loose clothing that might be caught in the snow blower’s moving parts
- Always turn the snow blower off before attempting to add fuel.
- Keep yourself and everyone else (including pets) clear of the discharge chute.
- Never walk away from the blower while it is running. If your hands are going to come off the blower, turn it off.
- Finally, be aware that parts of the snow blower engine can get extremely hot. Do not touch the engine or the muffler
Snow blowers can save us a lot of time so be smart and use some of that time to properly maintain your snow blower and make sure you read all instructions and safety information that comes with it.