Prevent Snow Blower Hand Injury

Prevent Snow Blower Hand Injury
Dr. Jeffrey C. Wint Hand Surgeon Springfield, MA

Dr. Jeffrey Wint is a hand surgeon practicing in Springfield, MA. Dr. Wint specializes in caring for hand, wrist and forearm problems without the option of surgery unless necessary. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems and tend to suggest non-surgical treatments such... more

As a physician dedicated to the care of the Hand and Upper extremity, I want to inform the public concerning the perils and pitfalls of improper snow blower use.  Physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and therapists who deal with these injuries live in fear of the first heavy wet snow of the season. Invariably injuries are seen despite general knowledge that these injuries occur. These safety tips cannot guarantee against injury but hopefully, if you are reading these or spreading these, it is one more step towards preventing these types of injuries.

Snow Blower Safety Recommendations

For safe use of a jammed snow blower include: (OCD STICK)

  1. If the snow blower jams, immediately turn it OFF
  2. Disengage the CLUTCH
  3. DELAY...Wait 10 seconds after shutting OFF to allow Impeller Blades to stop rotating
  4. Always use a STICK or broom handle to clear impacted snow. The stick most be strong enough to avoid breakage or eye injures can result from flying fragments.
  5. Never put your hand near chute or around blades
  6. Keep all shields in place. Do not remove safety devices on machine
  7. Keep hands and feet away from moving parts
  8. Keep a clear head, concentrate and... do not drink alcoholic beverages before using a snow blower

News organizations and weather services can help. Conditions that are associated with a higher incidence of injuries, heavy wet snow exceeding 6 inches of accumulation and temperatures above 28 degrees Fahrenheit offer good opportunities to provide a warning for the public. We need your help to reduce the incidence of these preventable injuries.


Read more here:

Snowblower injuries to the hand.  Chir Main 2014 Sep 25;33(4):272-8. Epub 2014 Jun 25.E Jardin, J Uhring, P-B Rey, M Ferrier, L Obert
Injuries Related to Snow Blowers in the United States: 2002 Through 2008. Hammig B, PhD, MPH and Ches Jones PhD
Snowblower Injuries to the Hand: Epidemiology, Patterns of Injury, and Strategies for Prevention. Master, Daniel MD; Piorkowski, James MD; Zani, Sabino MD; Babigian, Alan MD,.8.aspx
Surveillance for injuries: cluster of finger amputations from snowblowers. G R Istre, C Tinnell, D Ouimette, R A Gunn, P Shillam, G S Smith, and  R Hopkins
Snowblower injuries to the hand.Bowen V, Loback D, Tokaryk R.
Snowblower injuries to the hand.  Millea TP1, Hansen RH.
Snowblower injuries to the hand.  Dietzel DP1, Gorosh JBurke EFSinger RM.