No doubt pressure washers are some of the most useful equipment to have in any home or business. Unfortunately, pressure washers can cause significant injuries and even death. The 2007 report by OSHA stated that there were up to 800 pressure washer related injuries, which is quite substantial by all accounts.
It is not a secret that pressure washer injuries are 100% preventable. Don’t wear your favorite open shoes and treat the pressure washer like any other garden hose. Take the necessary safety measures, and you’ll be alright.
The following are some of the safety tips when using pressure washers.
Wear protective gear
There’s a tendency for people to treat pressure washers like super soakers or a garden hose, and that is never a good idea. Pressure washers can damage even concrete, and that says a lot. Your body may not stand a chance against the flying debris, and the high-pressure water.
At a minimum, you should have protective clothing such as goggles, gloves, long pants and hearing protection. Don’t also forget to wear good quality boots.
Petrol pressure washers are as loud as your lawnmower, and the sound amplifies when you use the appliance in enclosed spaces. It is therefore not impossible to lose you are hearing. Be careful and wear the necessary ear protection.
Read the user’s manual
Not all pressure washers are made equal. The functionality of one pressure washer may be significantly different from the other.
Please note that using the pressure washer in the wrong way is a risk hazard. Therefore, read the user’s manual carefully, and know the use of each button as well as the strength and the limits. You will also get troubleshooting and safety tips from the manufacturer’s manual.
Don’t throw the booklet away immediately after purchase, as most people do with new devices. It will only take slice of your time on a cup of tea to read everything – a no brainer.
Don’t point the washer at anybody
You will often find children and other family members using the garden hose as a plaything during summer, and it can be an effective way of cooling off. Don’t do this with the pressure washer, as the results can be catastrophic. The appliance is not at a toy.
And while you may not see any visible physical injuries, the damage to the internal body tissues may be quite significant. Always keep the washer pointed down until you are comfortable with the intensity. Never point it at anybody.
Always use the gas-powered pressure washer in a well-ventilated space
The gas-powered commercial pressure washer emits carbon monoxide which is toxic when inhaled. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness and nausea.
Always use the gas-powered pressure washer in a well-ventilated space. And if you must use the pressure washer in an enclosed area, opt for the electric pressure washer. It is much safer.
Keep alert when using the pressure washer
Before you can switch on the pressure washer, examine your surroundings and identify any possible risks such as flying debris. Always keep aware of the pets, children and potential obstacles that can be a trip risk. Keep an eye out for anybody or anything that may be approaching.
Look out for any oncoming cars, power lines and slippery surfaces among others. A job analysis will identify any potential risks to keep in mind when using the pressure washer.
The pressure washer can also be a source of electric shock when used on an open electrical wire. Don’t point the nozzle anywhere near a source of electricity. Water has excellent electricity-conducting properties.
Also, the kickback from the pressure washer can cause a significant fall, especially when using it in high areas. Don’t use a ladder to reach top places with a pressure washer. Stay safe folks!