Snow removal can be hard on the body when it’s necessary to clear a large area with only a shovel, especially after a heavy snow. Using a snow blower may be the perfect way to give your back a break, however, it is important to take the proper safety precautions to avoid unnecessary injury while clearing snow this winter.
Dress for the Job
Clearing snow can be a cold job. Be sure to dress properly not only to keep warm, but also to keep safe.
- Wear boots that will give adequate traction while walking behind the blower.
- Wear gloves that allow a firm grip on 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.
Go through these steps before you begin to clear snow:
- Get familiar with the snow blower’s operations manual.
- Inspect the area to be cleared. 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 in a garage, make sure the door is open before starting the machine.
While running the snow blower, be sure to:
- Be aware of where you are aiming the chute. Rocks and ice can become dangerous missiles if picked up by the blower.
- Never blow snow toward people or cars.
- Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
- Never override automatic shutoff features.
- Never 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, you should:
- Turn the machine off and wait until all moving parts have stopped before attempting to fix anything.
- Never reach into the blower chute with hands for any reason, even if the machine is off. Use a stick to work any debris out of the chute.
Proper Maintenance Counts
Proper snow blower maintenance is important to ensure smooth operation. Be sure to:
- Add fresh fuel and oil at the start of each season; also, check the spark plug.
- If 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.
It isn’t hard to stay safe while clearing snow!