According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a recent year, almost 600 finger amputations occurred due to improper operation of snow blowers or snow throwers. The majority of these tragedies happen when users attempt to clear snow from the discharge chute or debris from the augers with their hands.
“As the snowfall increases, the number of snow blower injuries rise. Fully understanding the equipment and never touching the machine while it is in operation will help prevent injuries and amputations,” Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition of America, stated in a press release. “These machines, like lawn mowers, make our lives easier, but they both involve fast-moving mechanical parts, and they can cause serious injuries.”
The CPSC reports that each year, approximately 5,740 hospital emergency room-related injuries are associated with snow blowers. The agency has received reports of 19 deaths since 1992. Fatalities include people becoming caught in the machine as well as carbon monoxide poisoning.