Snow blower safety: Here's what to know before you blow

Another Major Snowstorm Blasts Boston Area

Many of us in Michigan will be using snow blowers to clear driveways and sidewalks this weekend.

Each year, hundreds of people suffer hand and finger injuries while using snow blowers.

Here are six safety reminders when it comes to snowblower safety:

Don’t use your hands to unclog a snow blower. Most injuries happen when consumers try to clear the collector or discharge chute with their hands, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Instead, stop the engine and wait for the blades to stop spinning. Then use a long stick to dislodge wet snow and remove debris, the CPSC says. Keep all safety devices and shields in place, advises the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

To keep your snow blower from clogging in the first place, the ASSH recommends working at a brisk pace: The faster the pace, the less likely the snow will stick to the machine and clog it.

Don’t add gasoline to an engine while it’s running or hot, according to the CPSC. Instead, add fuel to the tank before starting the machine. Always keep the cap on the gasoline can, store gasoline out of the house and away from combustible materials.

Don’t wear loose pants, jackets or scarves, which can get tangled in the machine and pull you in with them.

Do wear ear protection,especially with gas-powered snow blowers, as the noise runs above 85 decibels and can cause hearing damage.

Do watch your step and look for icy patches and uneven surfaces. Wear boots with slip-resistant soles.

Don’t let children operate your snow blower.Keep pets and kids under age 15 away when you’re using it.



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