web analytics

Tag Archive | "safety"

Snow blower safety starts before you power up your equipment


 

Tips from OPEI 

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

According to weather forecasters, the winter of 2014–15 will see below-normal temperatures for about three-quarters of the nation. That means snow blowers could be getting a workout this winter. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers the following safety tips to assist homeowners, contractors and business owners as they power up their snow removal equipment.

Make sure your snow blower is in good working order, before the first flakes fall. Change the oil. Install a new spark plug and inspect the belts to be sure they are in good working order. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow blower, drain the tank now. Check the auger (always in the “off” position) and adjust any cables. Make sure it starts.

Review your owner’s manual. Read your owner’s manual and review safe handling procedures from your manufacturer.

Before it snows, clear the pathways you intend to use. Snow can sometimes hide objects that might clog the chute of a snow blower, or cause damage to the machine or people nearby. Remove doormats, sleds, boards, wires, and other debris from the pathways you intend to clear.

Use the right fuel. It’s important to have the proper fuel on hand, as filling stations may be closed if there is a power outage after a snowstorm. Store fuel properly and buy the type of fuel recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol content in outdoor power equipment (for more information on fueling properly see www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

Handle fuel carefully. Use non-spill containers with spouts. Fill up the fuel tank outside before you start the engine and while the engine is cold. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store fuel in a clean, dry, ventilated area, and never near a pilot light, stove, or heat source. Never smoke around fuel.

Dress properly for the job. Wear adequate winter garments and footwear that can handle slippery surfaces. Put on safety glasses, and avoid loose fitting clothing that could get caught in moving parts. Tie back long hair.

Operate your snow blower in visible conditions. Never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light.

Aim carefully and avoid people and cars. Never throw snow toward people or cars. Do not allow anyone to stand in front of your snow blower. Keep children or pets away from your snow blower when it is operating.

Use extreme caution on slopes and hills. Do not clear snow across the face of slopes. Be cautious when changing directions on slopes. Do not attempt to clear steep slopes.

Turn OFF your snow blower if you need to clear a clog or repair it. If you have to repair your machine, remove debris or unclog built up snow, always turn off your snow blower. Wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug wire or power cord.

KEY SAFETY TIP: Never put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean out tool (or stick) to unclog wet snow or debris from your snow blower. Your hands should never go inside the auger or chute.

 Know where your cord is. If you have an electric powered snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.

Fact Sheet: Safe Operation Practices for Snow Blowers:

http://opei.org/content/uploads/2014/11/Snowthrower_safety-sheet_FINAL.pdf

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Hunter orange clothing a good choice for everyone


Michigan DNR stresses importance of safety for everyone

Hunting season is well underway in Michigan and now is a good time to remind everyone that it is wise to wear hunter orange clothing when you are out enjoying the state’s trails and forest lands. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not close trails or pathways during hunting season, and it is legal to hunt throughout these areas if you adhere to the laws regarding safety zones.
It is required by law that hunters wear “hunter orange.”  There is no similar law for recreationalists, but because so much of state land borders private lands and the DNR allows hunting on portions of state-owned land, it is imperative that individuals take precaution and dress themselves and their pets in brightly colored clothing.
“Due to the very popular activity of deer hunting, now is not an advisable time to take a quiet, unassuming walk in the woods,” says Bill O’Neill, field coordinator for the Forest Management Division of the DNR. “Be smart about where you choose to go, wear brightly colored clothing and let hunters know that you are in the area. We must all work together to have a safe and successful hunting season in Michigan.”

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

Backpack safety tips for kids


Growing children shouldn’t carry more than 20 percent of their weight.

(StatePoint) School may be a figurative pain in the neck for many children, but what about a literal pain in the neck — and back?

These days, the answer is yes, and backpacks are to blame. Or more specifically, the improper use of backpacks.

“The average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman,” says Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “Growing children should only be carrying 10 to 20 percent of their body weight.”

Heavy backpacks can negatively affect your child’s health by pulling on ligaments and muscles that cause neck and back pain and can possibly cause deformity of the spine, according to the ACA.

Parents who want to protect their children from these painful injuries can follow these tips:

• Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. They should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

• Encourage your child to use both straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and back spasms.

• Pack light or at least smart. A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively, keeping pointy objects away from the back.

• Check to see if your children’s textbooks are available on e-readers — it’ll save their backs, as well as paper. Or consider buying a second set of textbooks for your student to keep at home, perhaps used ones.

• Learn some back-strengthening exercises to build up muscles. Sit-ups are great since strong abdominal muscles can share the load and take the strain off back muscles.

• Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about any pain or discomfort he or she may experience. Do not ignore any back pain in children or teenagers simply because they seem too young.

If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic, who is licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

You can find more backpack safety tips and learn about treatment for back pain at             www.acatoday.org/patients.

And lastly, examine your own backpacks, handbags and diaper bags. Parents are as likely to suffer back pain from excess weight or improper carrying as are their children.

Posted in NewsComments Off