It is always rewarding to look at your newly pressure-washed home or deck after a hard day’s work. The next day, however, you may start regretting that work due to an injury that could have been prevented. This article will discuss how to avoid injury while pressure washing.
Risk or Injury
These are some reported injuries caused by pressure washing reported by cdc.gov:
- Electric shock. This may occur if there are exposed wires, power cords are left in standing water, and or there are improper outlet hookups.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. This has been known to happen when gas-powered pressure washing is performed inside buildings with no proper airflow
- Back and neck strain and or torn ligament. A common occurrence when proper mechanics are not used when handling the pressure washer machinery due to the weight of the pressure washer and or repetitive movements.
- Abrasions and eye injury. This is from penetration of water, thrown glass fragments, rocks, and debris.
How can you avoid injuries such as these? Please consider the information below.
- Long sleeve clothes with heavy material
- Safety glasses
- Working gloves, preferably leather
- Proper footwear with no exposed skin and good grip.
Proper Body Mechanics
- Bend at the hips and knees. This will prevent undue strain or risk of disk bulging in your back when bending down or lifting the pressure washer.
- Use your legs as much as possible. Repetitive arm movements with resistance can lead to a pulled muscle or damaged tissue in the shoulder and neck. This means taking the necessary steps to direct the water flow, reducing repetitive movements with your shoulders.
- Avoid unnecessary twists or turns. This also can cause strain in the back. Move with your feet taking steps to turn to the side or around.
- Take breaks. Depending on the job, no matter how perfect your mechanics are, fatigue will kick in, lowering your muscle’s ability to protect you. So take time to rest if the job requires multiple hours.
Proper Machinery And Equipment
- Get help. Depending on the size of the pressure washer, it may require two people for handling due to the weight. Commercial pressure washers can range between 80-100 pounds.
- Wear proper safety gear. Washing on steep inclines or roofs would require rope and harness to ensure safety.
- Ensure the circuit breaker or outlet is working properly and there are no exposed wires.
- Do not use a gas-powered pressure washer in closed doors.
- Never allow children to operate a pressure washer.
- Do not allow a power cord to lay in standing water.
If you are unsure whether it would be safe for you to pressure wash, please don’t hesitate to call for a consultation. You can also understand how much it will cost by reading our blog: Is Pressure Washing Expensive?