LEAF BLOWER INJURY
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Leaf blowers are available in hand-held, backpack, and wheeled configurations, and some can also be used as vacuums that can chop and pack waste. Wheeled and backpack-configured leaf blowers tend to be gas-powered. Hand-held units are most common for home use and can be powered by either an electric motor or a gasoline engine.
Using a leaf blower is an efficient way to remove leaves, trash, clean porches, patios, driveways, and sidewalks, and to clean up after mowing. But every year, thousands of leaf-blower injuries are reported. The risk of such an injury can be minimized with the proper selection of, use, and maintenance of a blower. Here are some tips:
- Electrical units are usually adequate for small lawns; gas powered blowers may be preferable for larger home sites. Backpack blowers are best left for professional users.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.
- Replace or clean air filters as needed.
- Keep the blower clean especially the engine cooling fins.
- Wear eye protection, hearing protection, and work gloves. Wear a dust mask if conditions are dry. Goggles are better at keeping swirling dust from your eyes. Also, be aware that some electric blowers are louder than some gas-powered ones!
- Do not wear loose fitting clothes while operating the leaf blower. Long hair should be tied back out of the way.
- Make sure that there are no people or pets in the area to avoid them being struck by flying debris.
- Remove rocks, glass, branches, and other lighter weight debris that could be projected.
- Beware of potential ricocheting when blowing near walls and other obstacles.
- Do not use indoors and preferably not on a roof or ladder. If using on a roof or ladder, be careful not to overreach.
- Shut the leaf blower off before setting it down or changing attachments.
- Do not allow children to operate the blower.
Additional precautions for gas-powered leaf blowers:
- Replace the spark plugs regularly and fuel filters as needed.
- Mix the right amount of oil in the fuel.
- Turn the engine off and let cool prior to refueling. Loosen the gas cap slowly to relieve pressure. Don't smoke when refueling.
- Start the engine away from the fuel container.
- If some gas spills on the blower, wipe it off prior to starting.
A defective leaf blower can be dangerous even with the proper use and maintenance. Some models of both hand-held and backpack configurations, for instance, have been recently recalled for exploding or ejecting fan blade pieces after breaking off. Another backpack blower was recently recalled due to fire hazard. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Recalls and Product Safety News for the latest recall notices.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an incident, if you or a loved one has been injured in a leaf blower accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified personal injury or product liability attorney for an evaluation of your case.