4 Important Snowblower Safety Tips

By: Billy Whitmire

Operating a snowblower can be dangerous if you are not careful. It is important that you follow these safety tips.

By-Stander Safety

Dislodging Snow from the Auger

Traction Precautions

Fuel Handling Safety

By-Stander Safety: A snowblower is a very powerful machine, and the utmost care needs to be exercised to protect any by-standers. Kids are especially fascinated by snowblowers, and their position relative to your working area, must contain a safety gap. It is common for kids to try and run back and forth through the path of ejecting snow, unfortunately this can be very dangerous for to their safety. All it takes is a rock launched from the snowblower, and you have an injured kid on your hands. A snowblower or ejecting snow is not a play toy, and should be treated with the utmost care and respect.

Always keep by-standers a safe distance from your work area in order to prevent any serious injuries.

Dislodging Snow from the Auger: The snowblower contains a sharp and very powerful auger designed to crush, and break up snow. Occasionally it can get lodged with rather tough chunks of snow that requires manual removal. The temptation is to disengage the auger, and remove the obstruction by hand, but this is a mistake. You should never attempt to remove an obstruction in the auger while the engine is running, even if the auger is disengaged. The proper way to dislodge a chunk of ice, or snow from the auger is to completed shut down the snowblower.

Never attempt to dislodge an obstruction from the auger unless the snowblower is completely shut down, and this includes the engine.

Traction Precautions: A natural hazard when operating a snowblower is slippery driveways and sidewalks, so proper precautions need to be taken. Wearing footwear that is designed to give the maximum traction in slippery conditions is vital. The snowblower is not going to add to your traction, so make sure your traction is sufficient before attempting to operate the machine. A slip or fall while operating a snowblower can result in a serious injury. Before attempting to use the machine check the traction conditions, and make sure you are wearing footwear that will give you the best traction.

Wearing the proper footwear for the conditions in which you will be operating the snowblower is a necessary precaution to avoid injury.

Fuel Safety: Snowblowers that rely on gas combustion engines require the operator to follow proper fuel handling safety precautions. One of the most overlooked safety precautions is how to refuel the engine midway through a job. Most people just grab the gas can and begin adding fuel to the tank, but this is a dangerous practice. Keep in mind that the engine has been running, and may be extremely hot. It only takes one drop of ignited fuel to cause a major fire which may lead to the damage of your snowblower, and burns to you. To remain safe always shut down the snowblower, and let the engine cool off before adding fuel to the tank.

Filling the fuel tank before beginning a clearing job can prevent the risk of a fire by filling the tank while the engine is still hot.

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