As spring returns, homeowners are ready to venture back outside and clean-up their home and yard after the long winter. Power washing is one of the most efficient ways to remove dirt and mold on aluminum siding, wood decking, and concrete patios. With 1,500 to 4,000 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi), power washers can also be very dangerous.
In 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that more than 6,000 people visited emergency rooms across the country with power washer injuries. Fourteen percent of those injuries resulted in hospitalization. The following are some tips to help you use power washers safely and prevent painful bruises, cuts, punctures, eye injuries, and even amputations caused by these powerful machines.
Read the User’s Manual
Every power washer is different. There are electric and gas models, and some use hot water while others use cold. Read and learn about your machine before you begin. Follow the manufacturer’s performance and safety instructions included with your power washer.
Wear Protective Gear
Power washers can do a lot of damage to soft tissue. Stones, glass, metal, and other flying debris can injure you and others nearby. Protect your hands, feet, and eyes with sturdy gloves, boots, and goggles, and wear tight-fitting, closed-toe footwear. Flip-flops or other loose shoes pose a tripping hazard that may cause you to lose control of the machine.
Check Your Surroundings
Before you begin, look around for children playing nearby or pedestrians that wander in the path of your power washer. Bright cones placed around your work zone are an easy way to let others know to avoid the area. Look for electrical wires and power lines to avoid before you begin as well.
Avoid Power Washing at Heights
Power washers designed for home use have up to 4,000 psi and some industrial models carry up to 10,000 psi. Such force can cause a person to lose their footing and fall over. Avoid using any type of power washer on a ladder or scaffold. Extension wands are a better option for reaching heights.
Use the Right Nozzle
Most power washers come with several different nozzles that spray water or other liquids at different degrees. A zero-degree nozzle has the most force and is the most dangerous. Begin with the widest-angle spray tip used around two feet from the surface you are cleaning. If that does not work, try the next tip.
Power washers make quick work of jobs that once took hours of physical labor. With some preparation and caution, you can safely tackle your outdoor spring to-do list in no time. Power washers and other home tools make our lives easier. When used responsibly, they are incredibly useful. Yet, when used carelessly, they can cause serious, even permanent injuries. Sometimes, defects in the way the machine was designed or built can cause injuries to people or property.
South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Help Clients Injured by Defective Equipment
If you have been injured by a power washer or other machinery, the South Jersey personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are here to help. Our attorneys assess every detail of your injury to determine if the manufacturer or another person is at fault. From there, we fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free case review, call 856-354-9444 or contact us online today. We have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to serve those in the surrounding area.