Learning Center

Snow Blower Safety

Use caution with a snow blower to avoid serious injury.

man using snow blower

Snow blowers are great for clearing off driveways and sidewalks, but they can cause serious injury if not used carefully.

Every year in the United States, more than 5,500 people end up in emergency rooms for snow blower injuries, including broken bones, cuts, bruises and sprains. About 10 percent of these injuries involve amputation of the hand or fingers.

The most common cause of injury is when someone tries to clear a clogged discharge chute with their hands while the engine is running.

When you’re using your snow blower, take these safety precautions to prevent injury.

  • Read your owner’s manual and make sure you know how every control works and what safety features are built into your machine.
  • If your snow blower jams or malfunctions, turn it off and wait for all moving parts to stop.
  • Never use your hands to clear an obstruction. Always use a stick, broom handle or other tool. When an obstruction is cleared, some machines may recoil, which can cause an injury.
  • Never put your hand down the discharge chute or around blades to clear snow.
  • Keep all shields in place and never remove or disable safety devices.
  • When using the snow blower, keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
  • Always add fuel outdoors and never when the snow blower is running.

Following these simple, commonsense steps can keep you out of the emergency room for a snow blower related injury.

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