It’s time to dust off the snow-blower and move it to the front of the garage for regular use. And it is time to learn that even the most cautious person can still sustain catastrophic injury while exercising extreme care. No logical person would think of dislodging clogged ice and snow while the machine is operating. And most cautious people use a tool or implement to dislodge the clog. But time and again, the unsuspecting user may think that since the engine is off, it is safe to actually use your hand to help clear the really stubborn clog. Not so. An investigation has discovered that even when the machine is off, severe injury can still occur. That is because “rotational force” is built up and when the clog is finally cleared, the blades rotate a quarter or half a turn. And that is precisely when risk of severe injury occurs. Therefore, do not assume the machine is risk free when off; instead, stick to your normal practice and always use a tool or implement to clear ice and snow clogs from both the auger and impeller that transfers the snow up and out of the chute.
Authored by L. Page Graves