Before using the snow blower. certainly before the first time, and well worth doing if not used for a while or unsure about how to use it, have a checklist of the main safety protocols that need to be checked before using the snow blower. A snow blower is potentially more dangerous than a number of other garden or lawn operated machines that you may use or be used to.
It is not inherently dangerous, but there are a number of safety factors that you need to be aware of in order to make sure that it runs safely. It is a good idea to be aware of these things before using the machine rather than during or after use!
It is possible that you had to assemble the snow blower yourself from scratch. This is not the norm, but it is certainly possible. In any event it is worth checking that it is has been assembled properly, as there are a number of moving parts that need proper attention.
If any of the moving parts of a slow blower are assembled incorrectly it could be dangerous to the operative or anyone else nearby. The owners manual will give a detailed explanation of how all the moving parts are meant to be assembled, and if in any doubt refer to this and check that the snow blower has been assembled correctly.
It is important to check that the chute has been assembled correctly and is in place, and check it for proper rotation. The chute is where the snow will be ejected from the machine, and it is important that it is ejected in a safe manner away from other people or objects. You may need to adjust the rotation of the chute in order to make sure this happens. Check the tilt control of the upper chute as well, so that you can effectively direct the snow in the most appropriate direction.
You want to check that the wiring of the actuator is correct, and that the actuator works effectively in terms of raising and lowering the snow blower properly. You will need to know the height and level of the ground you’re operating the snow blower on, the height of the snow approximately, and to what extent they are any obstacles on the ground that you may need to clear.
It is important to be able to adjust the height of the snow blower appropriately, and is an important consideration when buying the snow blower in the first place. The different types of snow blowers available are to an extent determined by the height of the snow that is to be cleared, and whether or not gravel is on the ground and needs to be dealt with. If there is gravel on the land then you will need a two-stage gas snow blower, at the other types available are not safe to use with gravel.
When using a snow thrower it is important to dress appropriately! This really means that you need to prepare for the fact that you will be outside for a significant period of time, in conditions that are likely to be pretty cold. That much will probably be obvious, but it is important to know that you will need to wear solid footwear which will mean you do not slip or slide all over the place. This is something you may well consider anyway, but it is especially important when being in control of a machine such as a snow blower. You do not want to slide around or risk sliding around when using this machine. It would be extremely dangerous. To that extent make sure that the footwear you are wearing enables you to be surefooted all of the time.
Most snow blowers will come with a tethered safety switch, which you should fit to your clothing and keep attached at all times. Before starting the machine, make sure that the tethered safety switch will actually shut off the engine if you need to use it. Having made sure the tethered safety switch works, then attach it to a piece of your clothing and keep it attached at all times while using the machine.
You also want to check that the wheel hubs and wheel spindles are well oiled and will move effectively as a result. This is something you want to check prior to starting the snow blower especially if it has not been used for a long period of time.