Snow blower safety: Reminder of what to know before you blow

Michigan
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A maintenance man uses a snowblower to clear a sidewalk along 8th Ave. near Lincoln St. as a storm packing snow and high winds sweeps in over the region Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Denver. Stores, schools and government offices were closed or curtailed their hours while on another front, Thanksgiving Day travellers were forced to wrestle with snow-packed roads and flight delays or cancellations throughout the intermountain West. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Many people will be using snow blowers to clear driveways and sidewalks this weekend.

Each year, hundreds of people suffer hand and finger injuries while using snow blowers.

Here are six safety reminders when it comes to snowblower safety:

Don’t use your hands to unclog a snow blower. Most injuries happen when consumers try to clear the collector or discharge chute with their hands, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission . Instead, stop the engine and wait for the blades to stop spinning. Then use a long stick to dislodge wet snow and remove debris, the CPSC says. Keep all safety devices and shields in place, advises the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

To keep your snow blower from clogging in the first place, the ASSH recommends working at a brisk pace: The faster the pace, the less likely the snow will stick to the machine and clog it.

Don’t add gasoline to an engine while it’s running or hot, according to the CPSC. Instead, add fuel to the tank before starting the machine. Always keep the cap on the gasoline can, store gasoline out of the house and away from combustible materials.

Don’t wear loose pants, jackets or scarves, which can get tangled in the machine and pull you in with them.

Do wear ear protection, especially with gas-powered snow blowers, as the noise runs above 85 decibels and can cause hearing damage.

Do watch your step and look for icy patches and uneven surfaces. Wear boots with slip-resistant soles.

Don’t let children operate your snow blower. Keep pets and kids under age 15 away when you’re using it.

>>>Information from www.safebee.com

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