NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – You may think it’s common sense, don’t put your hand in a snowblower chute.
But people did, and they ended up in the emergency room. At least 12 people in Massachusetts went to the hospital after sticking their hands in a snowblower during the winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in many towns earlier this week.
“You always anticipate that the first snow of the season will come with snowblower injuries to the hands, slip and falls, all of those things,” Khama Ennis, Emergency Department director at Cooley Dickinson Hospital told 22News.
Ennis said it’s not uncommon to see snowblower related injuries. She has already seen a couple of hand injuries this season.
“I think the most important thing is to not use your hands to unclog a snowblower,” she advised. “I think it depends on whatever instructions come with your individual device but it’s very important to not use your hands.”
Ennis explained, “There is enough work built up that it is going to spring into action and take your hand with it so it is a terrible idea.”
If you do need to unclog your snowblower there are other options rather than using your hand.
Most snowblowers now come with some paddle that is attached to it and that helps clear out the chute. If your device doesn’t come with that, an old broomstick works too.