Stay Safe Outside This Winter
Every winter there are news reports about people suffering from injuries and even death when removing snow. Since clearing snow from driveways, sidewalks and even roofs is a common occurrence in Minnesota, Broadway Rental reminds you to always follow these safety guidelines when using a snowblower or roof rake.
Snow Blower Safety Tips
Every year, over 5,700 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to using snowblowers. Most snowblower injuries occur when the operator tries to clear a snow or ice jam from the discharge chute while the machine is still running.
Follow these guidelines to keep yourself and others safe:
- Wear protective eyewear. A snow blower will pick up rocks, chunks of ice and other objects off the ground while in use, and those objects will be launched from the chute like rockets – fast and with a lot of power behind them. Always consider the direction the discharge chute is pointed before you start blowing snow.
- Keep your kids and pets safe inside. In addition to the danger of airborne debris, a snowblower can create a cloud of snow that might hinder visibility.
- Prevent a snow or ice jam. While some clogging may be inevitable, using a snowblower no-stick spray on areas that come into contact with snow will greatly reduce clogs.
- Turn the snowblower completely off before attempting to remove the clog. Snowblower augers will continue to spin for a while after the handle has been released, so don’t take any chances. And never place a hand or arm inside the discharge chute! Thick gloves will not prevent injury – use a small shovel or the end of a broom to clear snow and ice jams.
- The shields that come with a snowblower are an important safety feature, and they should be kept in place.
- Do not start a snowblower in an enclosed area. Always move it outside before you hit the start button. Exhaust from your snowblower is just like exhaust from your car – and you wouldn’t run your car in a closed garage, would you?
Roof Rake Safety Tips
Snow is heavy and can strain the structure of your house. If a lot of snow has accumulated on the roof of your home, you may need to remove it with a roof rake to avoid leaks.
Keep these tips in mind when using a roof rake:
- Work from the ground if possible. Don’t stand directly below the area you are clearing when removing snow from the roof of your home – you may pull the snow down on top of yourself, and even a small area has the potential to shake loose 100 pounds or more at once.
- Don’t work alone. If you need to go up onto the roof to deal with the snow, get someone else to act as a spotter and use a harness or a rope for extra security. Wear boots with good traction.
- Don’t pile the snow up before moving it off the roof. The weight of accumulated snow sitting in one area can damage the affected area and can even lead to a collapse.
Removing snow and ice from around your home is an unavoidable winter activity. It can also be dangerous if you don’t take steps to prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries. With these snow removal safety tips, you’ll know how to handle the task with safety in mind.