Preventing snowblowing injuries

Snowblowing
Snowblower throwing snow
(http://publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4895&picture=snow-blower)

Dr. Vic Weatherall
November 2016

In addition to snow shoveling injuries, every winter I see a number of patients with injuries incurred while snowblowing. In their web article Prevent Snow Shoveling and Snowblowing Injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons provides some great tips for snowblowing:

  • Never stick your hands in your snowblower. If it jams, stop the engine and use a tool to clear the blower mechanism.
  • Do not leave your snow blower running unattended.
  • Practice safe fueling by fueling up before starting. Fuel up outside.
  • To avoid burns, keep clear of the hot parts of the engine.
  • When using the pull-cord, use a broad stance to stabilize yourself. Do not try to force a non-moveable cord.
  • If you are using an electric snowblower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times.
  • Do not tamper with safety devices, shields, or guards on switches. In addition, keep your hands and feet clear of the moving parts.
  • Beware of the brief recoil of motor and blades that occurs after you turn the machine off.
  • Never let children operate your snowblower and keep them away while you are using it.
  • Learn about and understand your snowblower’s features, operation, and maintenance procedures by reading the instruction manual.