Snow Blowers May Be Dangerous To Your Arms, Hands, Health, Safety, and Life Advises Pennsylvania Product Defect Lawyer
When I was a young teenager, I watched one of my neighbors sustain the amputation of multiple fingers on his hand as he attempted to clear the discharge chute of a snow blower. The memory of this event has been forever instilled in my mind. Moving forward 40 years, with 30 of them spent as a Pennsylvania defective product and product liability attorney who has handled numerous lawn mower and snow blower injury cases, I am well aware of the fact that the number of snow blower injuries and amputations continues to soar.
On many snow blower models exit chutes tend to become clogged when their operators attempt to snow blow snow that is to wet or heavy for a snow blower to clear. Snow blower exit chutes can also become clogged as a result of a snow blower operator pushing the snow blower too quickly. All too often snow blower operators will attempt to clear the passage of the exit chute with their hands not giving thought that the machine’s dangerous blade mechanism is still operating within the chute. The blades inside a snowblower rotate at an extremely high rate of speed and are extremely sharp, easily able to cut through bone, tendons, muscles, and skin. According to statistics released by the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) 6,000 to 7,000 people are injured each year in snow blower accidents with a good percentage of those injuries involving amputation.
A single stage snow thrower uses an auger blade at the front of the unit to eject the snow. Two stage snow throwers use an auxiliary high speed impeller in the discharge chute to throw the snow. Standards and safety specifications for snow throwers indicate that a means shall be provided that will automatically stop the impeller in five seconds when the operator leaves the operator position. However, the standards do not speak to the method or methods that they use to insure that the impeller stops in five seconds. Many times, there are failures of the stopping mechanism which is actually an intolerable product defect since the operator has reason to conclude that the blades have been stopped. Many clutch mechanisms are designed to put a cessation to the impeller which would mitigate the chance for amputation or they are often improperly designed or defectively manufactured resulting in faults which can cause harm to innocent and unknowing victims.
If you have been injured or suffered an amputation in a snow blower accident, it is important to immediately secure the allegedly defective snow blower so that it can be properly investigated by a defective snow blower expert and engineer to establish:
1. That it is not defectively designed;
2. Prove that there were safer alternative designs; or
3. That the manufacturer failed to provide effective warnings and instructions on how to safely remove clogged snow from the chute.
The Pennsylvania product liability law firm of Reiff and Bily always offers a free, no obligation consultation to consumers injured by defectively designed or manufactured products. We believe that safety is priority number one. Contact us toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.