Safe Use of a Snowblower

January 31, 2024
Safe use of a snowblower safety training image

Using a shovel to remove snow from workplace parking lots and sidewalks is strenuous and can lead to cold stress, dehydration, injuries, and heart attacks.

A snowblower can make clearing paths quicker and easier. However, it’s important to operate them safely. Follow these tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH):

  • Make sure workers dress properly. This includes wearing safety glasses and protective footwear such as insulated boots with rubber treads
  • Keep hands away from the moving parts of the snowblower and never try to clear a jam by hand
  • Work at a brisk pace and stay focused. The faster the blades and pace, the less likely the snow will stick
  • Add fuel to the snowblower only when the engine is off

f the snowblower clogs, here’s how ASSH says to safely clear it:

  • Power off the snowblower
  • Disengage the machine’s clutch
  • Wait five seconds after shutting it off to allow the impeller blades to stop rotating. ASSH warns not to assume you’re safe because the power switch is off
  • Use a stick or broom handle – never your hands – to clear the clog. Don’t remove any safety devices or shields
  • If you’re injured using a snowblower, seek medical attention immediately

Credit: NSC’s Safety+Health magazine and American Society for Surgery of the Hand

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