Published on February 9th, 2015 | by Turner Anderson1
Snow Blower Safety
Before You Begin
Before using your snow blower for the first time, read and understand the operator’s manual. This will help you become familiar with the controls and how they work.
Never allow anyone, especially children, to operate the snow blower without proper instruction. Age or lack of experience can cause an unsafe operating environment.
Dress in proper attire that will keep you warm, but won’t hang too loosely around the moving parts of the snow blower. Secure long hair, and make sure your shoes have enough traction to help you stay on your feet in slippery conditions.
Double check that your snow blower is adjusted properly so that gravel won’t be thrown during use. If you have questions on how to adjust the height of your snow blower and skid shoes, our article on how to adjust skid shoes can help.
Fuel Handling Safety
Never fill your snow blower with fuel while the engine is hot. Always refuel your snow blower outside to avoid being overwhelmed by fuel fumes.
Whenever possible, refuel your snow blower on a flat surface. Use an approved fuel container and never fill the snow blower directly from the gas pump.
Always replace your gas cap securely to avoid spillage while your snow blower is in use. Clean up spilled fuel as soon as possible, and change any clothing that fuel may have spilled on.
Stay behind the handles in the operator’s position while the snow blower is in motion. Remain there until all moving parts have stopped.
Never make adjustments on your snow blower while the engine is running. Always wear safety glasses or a face shield to protect against flying objects.
If you hit something, stop the engine, remove the key, and unhook the spark plug wire before attempting any repair.
When cleaning a clogged chute, the impeller, or the auger housing, make sure all parts have stopped moving before you use the cleanout tool. Never use your hands to clear clogged snow.
During and after use, engine parts will be hot. Be sure to keep exposed skin away from these areas to avoid burns.
Safe Operation Quick Tips
- Never leave a snow blower running inside. Engine fumes contain carbon monoxide that can overwhelm you and cause death if enough builds up in a poorly ventilated area.
- Be careful when operating in reverse, on slippery surfaces, and on steep inclines. Keep a solid grip on the handles. Walk don’t run.
- Know the area you are clearing. Decorative lights, frozen newspapers, and statuary can be hidden by deep snow. Try to avoid running these objects over.
- Never direct the discharge chute towards people or property that can be damaged.
Take your time and be careful not to overload your machine in the desire to complete the job too quickly. This can cause clogs and other problems for your snow blower.
* Very important note – Keep hands and feet away from moving parts, especially the augers.
Protect Your Snow Blower
Protecting (maintaining) your snow blower will help keep you safe. Never operate the snow blower if it’s damaged and in need of repair.
Unordinary vibrations can be a sign of trouble. If you feel excessive vibration, stop and inspect your snow blower for problems.
It is very important that shear pins be replaced with the manufacturer’s OEM replacement parts. Learn how to replace shear pins.
Also, use only attachments that are compatible with your specific snow blower unit.
Last, but not least, use common sense and be patient when you are using your snow blower. You will get years of accident free operation if you practice proper safety.
Jack’s Safety Tips: Before servicing or repairing any power equipment, disconnect the spark plug and battery cables. Remember to wear appropriate safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris. View our Disclaimer.