man using snow blower and snow blower safety tipsSnow blowers are a great tool to help clean up driveways and sidewalks. They are helpful to maintain your property and are much faster than the traditional shovel. But remember, snow blowers are still machines and must be handled with care. Snow blowers can cause serious injuries including cuts, burns, broken bones and loss of fingers and toes. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission more than 1,000 amputations and 5,000 hospital emergency room injuries are the result of snow blowers each year. Snow blower accidents are the fourth leading cause of finger amputations. These helpful tips can reduce your risk of injury.

  • Always read the owner’s manual and all safety tips before using your snow blower. Make sure your snow blower is properly maintained.
  • Keep the gas tank full. Always add gasoline before starting the snow blower. Do not add gasoline to a hot or running engine.
  • Plan a route before you start.
  • Clear the area of any objects or other items, which could clog the snow blower chute.
  • Never put your hands inside the snow blower chute. If the chute becomes clogged for any reason, turn the snow blower off. Then use a stick to help clear out the chute.
  • Keep young children and pets inside while operating the snow blower.
  • Keep your hands and feet out of the way of moving parts.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Be sure to have the proper footwear to avoid slipping on the snow, ice or other surfaces. Wear protective eyewear. Avoid wearing loose clothing or anything that could get tangled in the snow blower.
  • Do not rush while using a snow blower. Walk carefully and keep both hands on the handles. Utilize the “dead-man” controls, which will only operate the snow blower if the lever is being pushed.
  • Never leave the snow blower running unattended. Always turn the machine off when it is not in use. Never leave the machine running in a garage or other enclosed area.
  • If you have an electric snow blower, be mindful of the electric cord and keep it away from moving parts.
  • Always use extreme caution when changing directions on slopes.
  • Shut off the snow blower and remove the spark plug wire before making any repairs.