As the snow piles up this winter, now is the time to use snowblowers, the quickest way to clear snow from your driveway and sidewalk. However, snowblowers can be dangerous and cause serious accidents. In fact, the most common snowblower injury is amputated fingertips, which results from misusing the machine.
Snowblower accidents typically occur when the snow is heavy and wet or has accumulated about 6 inches or more. Here are important tips to practice snowblower safety this season:
To keep your machine from clogging:
- Work at a brisk pace. The faster the blades and pace, the less likely the snow will stick.
- If heavy, wet snow is anticipated, consider snowblowing several times during the snowfall.
- Some people spray the blades and chute with cooking oil spray. This may help.
If your machine clogs:
- Turn it OFF!
- Disengage the clutch.
- Wait five seconds after shutting the machine off to allow the impeller blades to stop rotating.
- Always use a stick or broom handle to clear the impacted snow.
- Never put your hand down the chute or around the blades.
- Keep all shields in place. Do not remove the safety devices on the machine.
- Keep your hands and feet away from all moving parts.
Remember to stay focused while using your snowblower to avoid accidents. Always wear sturdy boots, and do not drink alcohol while snowblowing! For more hand safety tips, visit www.HandCare.org.