5 Ways to Avoid Snow Blowing and Shoveling Injuries

Avoid Snow InjuriesIn areas of the country where heavy snowfall is a winter norm, the snow removal effort can be physically demanding. Sometimes it can be so demanding that each year many snow removal related injuries are reported. But by following the correct operation and safety tips, most can be avoided.By following our quick list of snow removal safety tips, you will save your back, and your sanity, all winter long.

  1. Have the right tools. In areas where a light snowfall is more expected than, say, a “snowmageddon”, you may be able to get by with a sturdy shovel. But to save your back, legs and time, a snow blower is your best bet. Not sure which kind you need? Check out the table below:
    [table]
    ,Light Snowfall,Moderate to Heavy Snowfall
    Small removal area,Traditional single-stage snow blower,Single-stage snow blower with an auger like the Single-Stage with SnowShredder™ Auger
    Medium removal area,Light Duty Two-Stage Snow blower,Medium-Duty or Heavy-Duty Two Stage Snow blower
    [/table]
  2. Never use your hand to clear the chute. Never clear or unclog the discharge chute with your hand – always use a clean-out tool. Hand contact with a rotating impeller inside the discharge chute is the most common cause of injury associated with snow blowers. Failure to observe these safety instructions may result in serious injury. Learn how to safely clear a clogged discharge chute.
  3. Don’t wait for it to stop. If a heavy snowfall is forecasted, try to start shoveling or snow blowing before it accumulates to six inches. This will help to reduce the amount of snow you’ll have to move at one time.
  4. Take it easy. When blowing heavy, wet snow avoid full-width passes. Instead, take on smaller chunks, about 1/3 to ½ the width of the machine. It’s faster and easier on the machine. And it allows you to throw the snow farther, avoiding moving the same snow twice. Same with shoveling – mentally section your driveway or path into two to three sections and tackle them separately instead of trying to move the entire width at once.
  5. Cool your engine before refueling. If you run out of gas midway through a job, don’t refill it right away. The gas tank sits right on top of the hot engine. If you spill the gas or overfill the tank, you could seriously injure yourself or damage your snow blower. Let the engine cool for at least two minutes before refilling.

Keep these tips in mind for your next foray into the cold, windy and snowy world of winter and stay safe all season long.

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