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Guide to Snow Blower Safety: How to Use a Snowblower Safely

There is a certain degree of satisfaction when you clear snow from your driveway. Shoveling snow is a great workout, but it’s time consuming and after a while, the task can be laborious. Using a snow blower is efficient and let’s face it, it can be a lot of fun. But, snow blower safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when you’re using these machines.

How to Use a Snowblower Safely

Hundreds of people are maimed annually because they are not using their snow blowers safely. The potential injuries can range from an amputated fingertip right up to serious damage to the hands and wrists. The blades can rotate when the snow blower is not operational, and clearing wet or heavy snow out of the exit chute is dangerous. In this article, we present tips for using a snowblower safely.

7 Safety Tips Before Starting Your Snow Blower

You can prioritize snow blower safety if you follow these simple tips:

Tip #1- Before you operate any machine, it’s important to read the operator’s manual.

This document will provide a wealth of useful information about the snow blower, including the control setup, maintenance requirements, and most importantly, safety tips. You need to know how to stop the machine and disengage it fast in an emergency.

Tip #2- Before you start the snow blower Clear the area

Take some time to pick up any loose trash, debris, or other obstacles in the area where you’re going to work. This will prevent these items from jamming inside the machine or being tossed into the air by the impeller. Always pick up debris before a storm hits your area to avoid hitting hidden items under the snow.

Tip #3- Always use Safety Glasses to protect your eyes when using a Snowblower

Loose debris is always a danger to your eyes, and a snow blower can kick up a lot of material into the air. So, it’s important to wear safety glasses as you work to protect yourself from this threat. It’s a good idea to invest in a pair of anti-fog safety glasses, they cost more, but they keep your vision clear at all times.

Tip #4- When Blowing Snow off Your Driveway always wear Ear Protection

A snow blower is loud and continued operation over long periods of time can damage your hearing. Wearing a pair of hearing protection earmuffs may seem like overkill, but it makes sense to protect your hearing. As an added bonus, the earmuff will keep your ears warm as you work!

Tip #5- Ensure that When you are using your Snowblower there is no one else close by

The work area should be kept clear of kids and pets that could be struck by small pieces of debris that may hit the impeller. These objects can travel at high speeds, and they can cause injuries. When the snow blower is running, keep your loved ones indoors and let them out to play when you’re finished.

Tip #6- Wear Protective Clothes that fits Well When Operating the Snowblower

When you work with a snow blower, it’s a good idea to wear tighter fitting clothes. Loose jackets, gloves, snow pants, scarves, and other items can be snagged by the machine. Wear jackets that have form fitted sleeves, tuck the scarf in the jacket, and your pants should be tucked in the snow boots. Adopting a proactive approach to your wardrobe when you operate a snow blower is a great way to avoid potential injuries.

Tip #7- Extra Precautions When using Gas Snowblower

If you have a gas powered snow blower, it should be started outdoors and not inside the shed or garage where it’s stored. It’s tempting to turn the machine on and test it indoors when it’s cold outside. But, it’s all too easy to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning quickly, which is known as the “silent killer” for a good reason.

Snow Blower Safety-9 Tips When Using A Blower

Snow Blower Safety

1/ Clearing a Clog: If you have a clog of heavy or wet snow in the discharge chute, it needs to be cleared before you continue. To do this safely, cut the engine and give it around three seconds to give the blades time to stop turning. Remember that the auger may start to turn after a twig or other obstructions are removed.

2/ Cord Awareness: If you’re using an electric snow blower with a properly rated extension cord, it’s important to keep the cord away from the front-end. If the cord is pulled into the auger, it can cause significant damage, and the potential for injury is considerable. If this happens, shut off the power and give the snow blower time to settle before you attempt to remove the obstructions.

3/ Hand Awareness: The vast majority of snow blower injuries are caused when people put their hands in or near the auger or chute when the machine is running. If these parts are clogged with wet/heavy snow and debris, they must be turned off, and the blades need to fully stop. Always use a cleaning tool to break apart clogs, don’t use your hands, and when you’re ready, restart and continue.

4/ The Chute: If the chute assembly is damaged or missing, don’t use the snow blower until this safety feature is replaced or repaired.

5/ Steep Slopes: Avoid using snow blowers on steep slopes and be extra careful even if you’re clearing snow from mild slopes.

6/ Gravel Surfaces: When you’re working on or crossing over gravel surfaces, exercise extra care to avoid flying gravel problems.

7/ Snow Direction: Always direct the chute to areas where the snow will not cause damage, injuries, or inconvenience to people in your vicinity.

8/ Adjustments: All adjustments should be made when the snow blower is turned off unless some exception is detailed in the owner’s manual.

9/ Collector Housing Height: Set the collector housing height to an appropriate level when you’re clearing snow on crushed rock or loose gravel surfaces.

Do’s And Don’ts When Using A Snow Blower

  1. Be fully aware: Never consume drugs or alcohol before or during the operation of a snow blower.
  2. Let the blower warm up: It takes a short while for the snow blower to adjust to the cold weather, and the engine should be given ample warm up time before the snow clearance begins.
  3. Be cord aware: If you have an electric snow blower use a properly rated power cord for outdoor use and use an outlet that has ground fault circuit interruption. Keep the cord behind you and out of your path as you work.
  1. Keep your Kids away from the area: Children under the age of 14 should be kept away from the snow blower, and more responsible kids should be monitored carefully to ensure they are working safely.
  2. Don’t take snow blower safety for granted: Always follow proper snow blower safety procedures that are detailed in the owner’s manual and the content of the article to stay safe.

Snow Blower Safety- In Conclusion:

Snowblower safety should be the primary concern before and during snow clearance. If you are injured by a snow blower, it’s important to seek medical advice quickly. Even a small wound can become infected quickly, and you may need antibiotics. The cut can be cleaned with soap and water and covered with a bandage to limit the infection risks.

Any amputated body part should be sealed in a plastic bag, wrap this bag with moist gauze and seal everything in a second plastic bag that’s filled with ice. Preservation of the severed body part will increase the chances of a successful reattachment later. Of course, if you follow these tips for using a snow blower safely, you can minimize the risk of injury and enjoy a clear driveway and yard!