Although this winter has been relatively calm, living in New Hampshire we know that it’s always important to be prepared for a snowstorm, and part of this preparation means having a snow removal plan. Considering the significant amounts of snow we are accustomed to receiving, snow removal can be tough on the body, especially when only equipped with a shovel. Opting for a snow blower instead can give your back a break, but as with any other machine, it's important to keep safety in mind when operating the snow blower. In part one of our two-part snow removal safety blog series, we have designed the following snow blower safety tips to help you prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries while clearing snow this winter:
Snow Blower Safety Tips
Dress for the Job
Clearing snow can be a cold job. Dress properly to keep yourself not only warm, but also safe.
- Wear boots that will give you adequate traction while walking behind the blower.
- Wear gloves that allow you to firmly grip the snow blower and do not interfere with its operation.
- Wear eye protection.
- Avoid long scarves or other loose clothing that could become caught in the snow blower’s moving parts during servicing or operation.
Run through the following snow blower safety steps before you begin to clear snow:
- Familiarize yourself with the snow blower’s operations manual.
- Inspect the area that you are about to clear. Look for things that may be hidden under the snow like doormats or newspapers.
- Check the snow blower’s oil level before each use.
- Never start the snow blower indoors. If you are in a garage, make sure the door is open before you start the machine.
While running the machine, keep the following snow blower safety tips in mind:
- Be aware of where you are aiming the shoot. Rocks and ice can become dangerous missiles if picked up by the blower.
- Never blow snow toward people or cars.
- Keep your hands and feet away from all moving parts.
- Never override automatic shutoff features.
- Do not operate the snow blower on a steep incline.
- Operate the blower at a speed no faster than a walk.
Clogs and Jams
If something becomes stuck in the snow blower:
- Turn the machine off and wait until all moving parts have stopped before attempting to fix anything.
- Never reach into the blower shoot with your hands for any reason, even if the machine is off. Use a stick to work any debris out of the shoot.
Proper Maintenance Plays a Role in Snow Blower Safety
Proper snow blower maintenance is important to ensure smooth operation.
- Always add fresh fuel and oil at the start of each season; also, check the spark plug.
- If you are using an electric snow blower or an electric start for a gas-powered blower, make sure any power cords being used are in good condition
- Maintain proper tire pressure to provide the best handling.
- Run all of the fuel out of the snow blower before storing it at the end of each season
At Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency, your safety is our top priority. In part two of our snow removal safety blog series, we will provide simple snow plow safety tips to help you avoid accidents and injuries while operating a plow.
Snow Removal Safety Part 2: Snow Plow Safety Tips