Winter Weather Safety: Snow Blower Safety Procedures

Winter Weather Safety: Snow Blower Safety Procedures

Often the first step when you need to leave the house in the wintertime is to plow the driveway. Since winter weather means snow, hail and cold winds, you might be tempted to stay indoors, but that’s not always an option. As you venture out for work or play, it’s important to practice snow removal safety throughout the winter months.

If you own a snow blower, snow removal safety procedure dictates you make sure it’s in good working condition before the snow begins to fly. Proper snow thrower safety procedures include checking your snow blower accessories, like the chute cleaning tool and other parts, changing the oil, refueling and familiarizing yourself with the machine, so you know how to shut it off quickly if necessary. Making sure your snow blower is properly maintained and tuned-up is a good practice during the off-season, but be sure to pay attention to these snow blower safety tips once it starts to snow:

1. Clear your driveway or sidewalk of debris, like branches or rocks, before you begin.

2. Plan a path 75 feet from onlookers, so the snow doesn’t injure others.

3. Start the machine in an open garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and allow it to adjust to the colder temperatures before blowing.

4. Wear safety glasses, or at least sunglasses, while clearing the driveway.

5. Bundle up against the cold weather, but tuck away any loose clothing, like scarves, that could get stuck in the machine.

6. Avoid steep slopes.

7. Never use your hands to clear the chute assembly. Shut off the machine and wait until all parts stop moving. Then, use your chute clean-out tool, which should be fastened to the rear auger housing, to unclog the chute.

8. Only operate snow throwers when you have clear visibility.

9. Never make adjustments while your machine is running.

Winter weather doesn’t make it easy to get the replacement parts you may need if your snow blower breaks down. Order MTD snow blower parts to keep the quality supplies you need on hand in the event of a snowstorm. Check your owner’s manual for the part numbers you need before ordering spark plugs, drive belts and shear pins or stocking up on other important parts for the winter. Using original manufacturer parts will help ensure you have the right supplies for your machine and improve your snow thrower safety.

1 Comment

  1. one
    Comment by ice@grips: Feb 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Great safety tips, thanks!

    I’ll add one more suggestion. Wear shoe cleats for ice when you’re doing snow removal. You never know when there’s a patch of ice hidden beneath the snow. You’re operating a serious piece of machinery, the last thing you need is to lose your footing. If you’re wearing cleats ice isn’t dangerous. Stay safe.

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