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SNOW BLOWER SAFETY

Snow removal can be hard on the body when you have 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. Dress properly not only to keep yourself warm, but also to keep yourself 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.

BEFORE USE - Go through these 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.

CLEARING SNOW - While running the snow blower:

  • 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 COUNTS - Proper snow blower maintenance is important to ensure smooth operation.

  • Always add fresh fuel and oil at the start of each session; 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 session.