In the winter, snowfall can cause a lot of extra work for home and property owners. Rather than labor-intensive shoveling, some people choose to buy snow blowers to quickly and easily remove snow from driveways, sidewalks, and other walkways. As with any machinery, though, people can get injured while using snow blowers.
When a product is defective and causes you unexpected harm, it can be shocking and you might not know what to do. That’s where a product liability lawyer comes in. One of our attorneys from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC in Charleston can help you recover compensation for your injuries caused by a defective product.
Most Common Snow Blower Injuries
Snow blowers work by pushing them through the snow, and a motor rotates a blade inside that picks up and throws snow off from the pavement. Since people go a long time without using a snow blower, and only break it out after the first major snowfall, they could easily get injured by it because they aren’t used to using it anymore.
When there’s an issue with a blade or it’s not throwing snow like a user expects to, they might reach their hand inside and get struck with the blade. This is why hand injuries are the most common injury caused by snow blowers. According to a study by the Department of Orthopedics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, about 6,000 hand and finger injuries happen annually from snow blowers.
Fingers were the most injured body parts and were followed closely by hand injuries. The most common types of specific damage done to the fingers and hands by snow blowers were:
As the study showed, consumer warnings have not been effective in preventing hand injuries from snow blowers. The study concluded that more safety precautions and mechanisms need to be implemented so that injuries from snow blowers are less able to happen. Let’s take a look at how to operate a snow blower safely this winter.
How to Stay Safe While Using a Snow Blower
You might be trying to ignore how the weather is changing so that you don’t have to accept that snowfall is coming. We’ve already had flurries, but snow that stays on the ground and accumulates is bound to happen soon with the temperature drops we’ve been experiencing in West Virginia. In order to stay safe while using your snow blower this year, you should follow these tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH):
- Stay focused.
- Wear boots with traction.
- Stay sober if you need to use your snow blower.
- Make sure snow blower is off before moving or lifting.
- Don’t lift the snow blower from the bottom—the blades can injure you even when they’re off.
- Work quickly to keep the blower from getting clogged.
- Snow blow multiple times during a snowfall if the snow is anticipated to be wet and heavy.
- Spray the blades with cooking oil prior to blowing so the snow can slide off more easily.
- Never let children near the snow blower, whether it’s on or off.
The snow blower could still get clogged even if you take all of the precautions to avoid clogging. In order to avoid injury when trying to unclog your snow blower, you should first turn off and unplug your snow blower. Wait for the blades to completely stop spinning before using a broom handle to clear the compacted snow from the blade area. Never use your hands, and never stick your arms in the chute or near the blades.
The safety mechanisms in snow blowers are there for a reason—they can be dangerous, and the blades can cause serious injuries. If the safety mechanisms fail, or your snow blower is defective and injures you, then you could need legal help to hold the company accountable.
DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC Is Here for You
A defective product can change your life. When you’ve been injured by a product that malfunctioned or was defective, then you could be looking to recover compensation from the party or company at fault for the defect. A product liability lawyer from our firm can help you navigate product liability laws in West Virginia and determine what you’re eligible to financially recover.
Contact our office today so we can discuss your potential claim and get started on getting your life back on track.