10 of the Worst Winter Health Hazards

From falls to frost bite -- how to sidestep potential perils this season (11 Photos)

Jill Provost on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:41PM

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10 of the Worst Winter Health Hazards

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Snow Blower Safety

During a recent snowstorm in Abington, Penn., doctors at the nearby hospital saw 12 patients in six hours all hurt by snow blowers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 6,000 people are injured in snow blower accidents every year. The common mistake people make, says N. Stuart Harris, M.D., an ER physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, is in thinking it's okay to reach your hand into the machine once you turn it off. Even experienced users will stick their hands in to unclog the snow. "When you turn off the engine, the drive belts can still have torque and energy stored. As you unclog the snow, the rotors can then pop forward and take off your hand," he says. All snow blowers come with a tool to un-jam it, so use that instead of your fingers.
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