Each year, about 5,700 people in the United States go to the emergency room for treatment of snowblower-related injuries such as broken bones, cuts to skin and soft tissue, bruises, and sprains. About 10 percent of injuries involve amputation of the hand or fingers.
Snowblower injuries tend to happen when someone stops paying attention for even a few seconds.Even after the snowblower is turned off, tension is stored in the rotor blades. A hand or finger stuck in to remove wet snow or ice is at risk for being cut, mangled or even amputated.
To stay safe, keep your hands and fingers out of the snowblower mechanism whether the machine is running or turned off. Do not disable the safety devices built into most new snowblowers and take the time to review the key safety features in the owner’s manual.
via Winter Storm Hazard: Snowblower Injuries.
Each year, hundreds of people suffer maiming or amputations of their fingers or hands due to the improper handling of snowblowers. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand would like to provide you with patient information to help you avoid these injuries during the winter season.
- Average age: 44 years
- Sex: Male
- Dominant hand — 90% of injuries
- Amputations of tips of fingers
- Middle finger most commonly injured
Common Weather Conditions
- Heavy, wet snow
- Large snow accumulation, greater than six inches
- Temperature: 28 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
- Not noticing that the impeller blades are still rotating even though the machine is off
- Operator attempts to clean the clogged exit chute with hands
- Hands connect with the rotating blades, resulting in severe injury
Remember — if your snowblower jams:
- Turn it OFF!
- Disengage clutch.
- Wait five seconds after shutting machine off to allow impeller blades to stop rotating.
- ALWAYS use a stick or broom handle to clear impacted snow.
- NEVER put your hand down chute or around blades.
- Keep all shields in place. DO NOT REMOVE the safety devices on the machine.
- Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
- Keep a clear head, concentrate, and
- DO NOT DRINK before using your snowblower!
REMEMBER — SAFETY FIRST AT ALL TIMES!
via Keep Fingers and Hands Safe: Practice Snowblower Safety.