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Leaf Blower Accidents: The Risks and How to Avoid Them

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 9-Oct-2017

Along with the changing colors and falling leaves, widespread sightings of leaf blowers are a sure sign that autumn is in full swing. These power tools were designed as an invention of modern convenience, but unfortunately they also cause a fairly high number of accidents and injuries each year—even prompting some movements to ban them entirely. If you use a leaf blower yourself—or if you have neighbors who do—let’s explore some of the risks and what you can do to stay safe.

  • Flying debris. Leaf blowers use high-velocity air to send leaves, dust, dirt and even small stones airborne, any of which can become a projectile causing eye or skin injuries to anyone in the path.
    Staying safe: Keep a safe distance from anyone using a leaf blower to avoid getting in the path. If you use a leaf blower, wear safety goggles, long pants and long sleeves; also, point the nozzle away from others in the area, or toward the sky to keep from throwing debris.
  • Hearing damage. Leaf blowers can be very loud, causing permanent hearing loss in the user and/or others nearby.
    Staying safe: Wear ear protection when using a leaf blower, and turn it down or off when others are nearby. Give other leaf blower users a wide berth to protect your ears.
  • Respiratory issues. Along with projectiles, leaf blowers kick up dust, which may include allergens, causing respiratory problems in those who are allergic or sensitive. Additionally, gas-powered blowers emit carbon monoxide and noxious fumes which can overcome those nearby.
    Staying safe: Only use leaf blowers in open areas away from others who might suffer from the dust cloud. Wear a protective dust or allergy mask when using a blower to protect yourself.
  • Burns/electric shock. Gas-powered blowers can get hot around the motor, burning the skin if you accidently touch the housing. Electric-powered blowers can cause shock or electrocution if the wiring becomes exposed or damaged.
    Staying safe: Avoid contact with the motor casing when using a blower, and always check the power cords before using an electric powered blower.

Many safety tips related to lawn mowers also apply to leaf blowers. Check out this article for more information.

If you’ve been injured due to negligent use of a leaf blower, we may be able to help. Call our office to speak to a Washington D.C. personal injury attorney today.

Categories: Personal Injury
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