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 or snow plow can 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.
Before You Begin!
Whether you are using a walk-behind snow blower or a vehicle-mounted plow, there are some important precautions to take before you begin.
- Familiarize yourself with the operator’s manual that came with your equipment before the start of each winter. After a long, snow-free summer, a refresher can be helpful.
- Always inspect the area you will be clearing. Look for items hidden in the snow that you would not want to hit or run over.
- Make sure other family members, especially children, are clear of the area before you begin.
Dressing properly not only keeps you warm, it also keeps you safe. Wear boots that will give you adequate traction while walking behind your snow blower and gloves that allow you to firmly grip the controls. Also, avoid long scarves that could become stuck in moving parts. Even if you're in a plow, it's good to be dressed for those times when you need to leave the warmth of the driver's seat!
- 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.
- Do not override automatic shutoff features.
- Operate the blower at a speed no faster than a walk.
- 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 long stick to work any debris out of the shoot.
- When beginning a pass, always start moving and then drop the plow blade.
- Begin to stop as you approach the end of your pass. Do not let the plow slam full speed into already piled snow.
- Raise the plow blade before moving into position to make another pass.
- Always turn around and look while driving in reverse. Do not rely on vehicle mirrors alone.
- Check with local regulations before moving snow across a roadway. It may be illegal to do so in some areas.
"Live Confidently, Work Confidently"