Unfortunately, an all-too-common side effect from winter weather is serious injury from snow blowers and shoveling. Nationally, snow blower injuries account for approximately 5,740 emergency room visits while there are nearly 600 finger amputations annually associated with snow blowers. Among consumer products, snow blowers are a leading cause of finger amputations. Most snow blower injuries happen when a person tries to clear the auger/collector or discharge chute with his hands. Tips for Avoiding Injuries:
- If your snow blower becomes jammed, turn it off, disengage the clutch and wait more than five seconds for blades to stop rotating.
- Beware of the brief recoil of motor and blades that occurs after the machine has been turned off.
- Stop the engine and use a long stick or broom handle to unclog wet snow and debris from the machine. Do not use your hands to unclog a snow thrower.
- Always keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
- Never leave the machine running in an enclosed area because of the danger of carbon monoxide fumes.
- Add fuel to the tank outdoors before starting the machine. Do not add gasoline to a running or hot engine.
- If you have an electric-powered snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times.
- Do not remove safety devices, shields or guards on switches, and keep hands and feet away from moving parts.