When winter arrives, snow plowers usually get a workout. Every winter, approximately 6,000 people are treated in emergency rooms across the country for injuries sustained while using snow plowers. Most of these injuries appear to have occurred during early, heavy snowfalls. Here are a few helpful hints for staying safe while clearing snow this winter.
- Acquaint yourself with your machine:-
Read and understand the operator’s manual and familiarize yourself with all the controls. Maintain all of the safety features. Check your snow plower before each use and reacquaint yourself with it before the season begins. Understand how to quickly stop the machine.
- Always keep your hands and feet away from the machine’s moving parts:-
Never put your hands inside the auger. If the device becomes clogged while removing snow, turn it off and wait for all moving parts to stop. Some manufacturers recommend removing the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Snow can be removed with a stick or other similar instrument. Once the obstruction has been removed, expect a clogged machine to jump.
- Never leave an unattended machine running:-
If you must leave for even a short period of time, turn off the snow plower. Never refuel the machine while it is running or while it is hot. Fuel should be added outside because the vapours are highly flammable, explosive, and dangerous if inhaled. Burns is also a possibility because parts of the machine, particularly the engine and muffler, become extremely hot.
- Never store the machine in the house or inside a building where open sparks or flames are present:-
Also, avoid storing it near water heaters or furnaces.
- Walk behind the machine, keeping a firm grip on the handles at all times:-
Work the snow slowly; if you don’t rush the job, there will be less chance of clogging. If you need to back up or change directions do so carefully to avoid tripping. If you lose your footing, be prepared to turn off the snow plower and the traction drive. Take care of any curbing or potholes in the pavement. If you must clear snow from a sloped surface, go up and down rather than across.