The husband of a dear friend lost two fingers in a snow blower accident yesterday. It was apparently a moment of carelessness. The snow was very wet and heavy, and it clogged something in the machine.
(Don’t ask me what got clogged, because – despite growing up on farm with all the equipment we had – I’m scared to death of snow blowers, and stay very far away from them.)
I don’t know whether he turned the machine off first or not (knowing him, I believe he did). Although it actually doesn’t matter because even if a snow blower is turned off, clearing a clogged passage can release the stuck blades long enough for them to turn rapidly, and slice through whatever might be in the way. In this case, a man’s fingers, right through a heavy pair of snow gloves.
Think about it. Have you ever turned off your windshield wipers because there’s a pile of snow on them that they can’t move, and you don’t want to burn out the little engine that runs the wipers? And when you clear the snow, what happens? They do what wipers are supposed to do. They wipe.
Now think about a machine that’s designed to pick up loads of snow and throw it 10, 20 or even 30 feet. Kind of powerful, right?
So even if the engine has been turned off, that sucker can cause significant damage if you put your hand in there.
Please, please be careful. And keep kids away from them, too. Only a moment of inattention can change your life, or a child’s.
Here’s an article from Consumer Reports on snowblower safety.
Categories: Safety in the Home