Homeowners, landscapers and yard maintenance enthusiasts can all agree that leaf blowers are a huge help when it comes to moving leaves, yard debris and other waste. Backpack blowers pack a powerful punch, but it’s important to know the safety precautions before you press the ON button or pull the starter.
This article will go through important backpack leaf blower safety tips, so you can work your yard or a customer’s yard safely and effectively.
Before You Start
Taking precautions before you start using your backpack blower is the first step in blower safety. Make sure to:
- Check the time. Make sure you aren’t starting too late or too early, as the noise ordinances in some cities can prohibit you from starting at certain times. Also, waking the neighborhood up at 6am blowing leaves is probably not the best idea.
- Check wind direction. This is an important step so you know where to blow. If you start without checking where the wind is coming from, you could not only make more work for yourself, but you could get a face full of debris as well.
- Check the muffler and air intakes. This will help make sure noise is not amplified louder than it needs to be while you work in smaller areas or around others.
- Practice first. Play around with the settings in a safe and open area with some grass clippings. Make sure you know how loud and how powerful the tool you are using before you start work on the job or at home.
- Reduce noise with attachments. You can buy or rent nozzle attachments for your blower that will help to greatly reduce noise while you work.
Wear Safety Gear
Utilizing personal protective gear can help you avoid some major health issues and keep you safe while you work. Here is the equipment you should try to wear every time you use your backpack blower:
- Eye Protection. Wear safety goggles or glasses to help protect your eyes from debris, small rocks, and dirt/dust particles.
- Hearing Protection. Leaf blowers are intrinsically very loud. They shoot out over 90 decibels of noise right by your ear, which exceeds the workplace limit set by OSHA. Wearing earplugs or noise cancelling headgear is highly recommended.
- Lung/Breathing Protection. Wear an N-95 dust mask or similar to project yourself from extra fine particles getting in your lungs.
- Body Protection. Wear long sleeves and pants to help from getting hit with any flying dust or particles.
Use Blower With Caution
Always be aware of the space you are using the blower. Use these steps to help you stay cautious and aware while you work.
- Check your surroundings. Make sure there is no loose gravel or anything heavy but movable as you could do real damage to private property or yourself with the wrong movement of the blower.
- Area should be clear. Make sure no other workers, family members, bystanders or pets are close (up to 50 feet) from the blower in use.
- Notice the nozzle. Never point the nozzle or blow the dust/debris towards people, pets, windows, doors or cars.
- Operate on solid ground. Never use a blower on a ladder, rooftop or any unstable area.
Gas Safety Tips
If your backpack blower is gas powered, make sure to follow these safety tips:
- Loosen the gas cap slowly so the pressure in the gas tank is released slowly as well.
- Cool the engine down before packing up.
- Always make sure the blower is off.
- Use the correct fuel/oil mixture as laid out in the instruction manual.
- Do not smoke around an open gas tank or gas can.
- Start the leaf blower at least 10 feet from where you refueled.
Items You Shouldn’t Clean Up
Here are a few materials you should steer clear from trying to clean up due to damage they could cause or how hazardous they can be in the air.
- Cement or concrete dust
- Construction debris
- Gravel or gravel dust
- Plaster dust
Other Tips For Blower Safety
- Do not use the blower if it is damaged or partly disassembled.
- Do not use the blower during rainfall.
- Do not leave the blower unattended.
- Do not touch the engine or muffler while it is on, you will get burned.
- Store in a dry, cool place when not in use.
Looking To Rent A Backpack Blower?
At Elephant Construction Solutions, our rental equipment is ready for professionals and hobbyists alike with high-quality tools and accessories that you’ll need to get the job done right. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, we offer many different options for rental, such as: backpack leaf blowers, power tools, power equipment, saws, and concrete breakers as well as other heavy duty machinery.
Reach out to us to get a free quote for any tools and equipment you may need for your next job or project. Whether it’s as simple as a lawnmower, as important as scaffolding, or as small as a nail gun, we have the best in high quality products you are looking for.