Using a snowblower comes with risks

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Health experts at Mayo Clinic System say shoveling snow by hand is time consuming and often tough on your back.

Using a snowblower makes things quicker and easier, but it comes with risks, according to Mayo Clinic Health System.

“Since 2003, there’s been 9,000 Americans who have injured their hand from a snowblower,” Dr. Sanj Kakar, Mayo Clinic Orthopedic Hand and Wrist Surgeon, said “And most of the times, these are amputations – so significant injuries where they lose at least one or more fingers.”

Dr. Kakar says most of the time, these injuries come when the snow blower gets clogged, and people try to unclog it.

“It’s still actually captured that kinetic rotational energy in the system,” Dr. Kakar said. “So the snowblower is actually off, and, so, you think you’re safe. But you put your hand in there, and that energy is still stored in the machine. And as soon as you clear the snow or a rock, it captures your hand with the glove, and pulls it in and causes your injury.”

Dr. Kakar says the safest thing to do if your snow blower gets clogged is to go back to the snow shovel to finish clearing your driveway and let the clog melt out on its own.

Additional information is available on the Mayo Clinic Health System website, HERE.