How to safely operate a leaf blower

When it comes to gardening, or clearing pathways and roadsides, during the autumn months, few tools prove to be as invaluable as a leaf blower.

However, useful though they undoubtedly are, they can also cause substantial injuries at work if used incorrectly. Fortunately, there are various safety guidelines you can follow to minimise this risk.

How can I avoid accidents at work with leaf-blowers?

There are six main steps to follow to try and ensure you remain free from work injuries whilst operating a leaf blower.

The switch

The vast majority of gas-powered leaf blowers have a switch displaying the following two options:

–  Run

–  Start/Stop

Set the switch to the start/stop option to operate yours safely.

Priming

The next step is to prime the leaf-blower. This involves finding the small plastic bubble located near the gas tank. Pressing this button a few times will create suction which sucks the gasoline into the bubble, which will be used when the machine starts. If your leaf blower is electric, ignore this step!

Cranking

Now it’s time to grip the pull cord and give it a quick pull to its full length. Repeat this action until you hear the engine spark into life.

Flip the switch

With the motor running, flip the switch to the ‘run’ position to keep it continuously blowing out hot air

Get to work

With the air flowing, hold the leaf blower at your side and pointing at a shallow angle towards the ground. Walk slowly whilst sweeping the leaf blower back and forth.

It’s important you consider where you want the leaves to gather as in the wrong place they could cause a road traffic accident or a slip, trip or fall.

Shut it down

Once the work has been completed, flick the switch back to the ‘stop/start’ position. This will kill the motor, at which point you need to store the leaf blower in a dry location.

Suffering injuries at work can be extremely damaging, in both physical and confidence terms. Fortunately, help for work accident victims is at hand.

Accident Advice Helpline are a law firm with over 13 years’ experience in dealing with work accident claims, as well as car crashes and other personal injury claims.

Their Freephone advice line is available 24/7 on 0800 689 0500. They work on a no win, no fee* basis and usually settle out of court.

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