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Pressure washing injuries - agonizing and always serious!
Pressure washing injuries are always painful and always dangerous! Pressure washers are highly effective machines commonly used to clean sturdy surfaces such as buildings, farm equipment, and roads. However, handling them with utmost care and precaution is imperative to avoid severe risks to both users and bystanders. Indeed, pressure washers can cause critical injuries, infections, disabilities, or even fatalities if untrained or negligent individuals operate them. This article aims to discuss the various types and reasons for pressure washer injuries and provide valuable insights on how to prevent them.
Types and Causes of Pressure Washing Injuries
Pressure washers are tools that employ water and, at times, chemicals to spray at considerable pressures, ranging from 750 to 30,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The force generated is substantial enough to penetrate wood, metal, or concrete. However, the results can be catastrophic when it comes into contact with human skin and tissues. Injuries caused by pressure washers are classified into four categories:
- Pressure washers pose a significant risk of injury, particularly in the form of injection injuries. These injuries are the most common and carry a high degree of danger. An injection injury occurs when the water jet from the pressure washer penetrates the skin and injects water or chemicals directly into the body. The initial puncture wound may appear minor, but the water jet can cause extensive damage to the underlying tissues, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. Moreover, injection injuries have the potential to introduce harmful bacteria or fungi into the body, leading to severe infections that can spread quickly. If left untreated, injection injuries can result in compartment syndrome, gangrene, amputation, or even fatality. Thus, seeking immediate and proper medical attention when such injuries occur is crucial to minimize the risk of further complications.
- Impact injuries occur when a water jet strikes the body with sufficient force to cause blunt trauma. Such injuries can manifest as bruises, lacerations, fractures, or internal bleeding. Additionally, impact injuries can result from objects thrown by the water jet that strike and harm the user or bystanders. These objects, such as stones, nails, or metal shards, can travel at high speeds and hit the eyes, face, or other body parts. To avoid severe injury, it is essential to be mindful of these potential hazards when operating a pressure washer nozzle.
- Injuries caused by electric shocks can occur when a water jet comes into contact with an electrical source. The water can conduct electricity and potentially harm the user and bystanders. These injuries can range from burns to cardiac arrest or even death. Using pressure washers safely and correctly is essential to avoid such incidents. Malfunctions or short circuits can happen if the pressure washer is not correctly grounded or exposed to water or moisture.
- Injuries resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning can be attributed to the inhalation of this toxic gas produced by gasoline-powered pressure washers. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that induces various negative symptoms, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness, and even death. These injuries can occur when a pressure washer is used in a poorly ventilated or enclosed space without proper exhaust. Therefore, taking the necessary precautions when using this equipment is imperative to avoid any potential harm caused by carbon monoxide.
How to Prevent Pressure Washer Injuries
Preventing pressure washing injuries can be achieved by adhering to several safety protocols.
Firstly, reading and following the safety instructions provided in the owner’s manual of the pressure washer is essential. These instructions offer crucial information on how to operate, maintain, and store the pressure washer safely.
Secondly, wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is imperative. Such equipment includes gloves, goggles, boots, long pants, long sleeves, and hearing protection. Wearing PPE protects individuals from water jets, chemicals, debris, and noise.
Thirdly, avoiding pointing the pressure washer at oneself or others is crucial. Even brief contact with a water jet can cause severe injury. One should keep a distance from the nozzle and avoid spraying near people or animals.
Fourthly, it is essential to refrain from attempting to push or move objects with the spray from the pressure washer. The water jet can bounce back and hit individuals or others. It is advisable to use a broom or rake to move objects instead.
Fifthly, individuals should never use a gasoline-powered pressure washer in an enclosed space. The exhaust fumes can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It is advisable to use an electric-powered pressure washer instead or place the gasoline engine outdoors and away from air intakes.
Lastly, individuals should always test the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) before using an electric-powered pressure washer. A GFCI is a device that shuts off power if there is a current leakage or imbalance. A GFCI will protect individuals from electric shock if there is a pressure washer or power cord problem.
It is important to remember that pressure washers can be dangerous, especially for children. Therefore, it is highly recommended that children not operate pressure washers and should always be kept at a safe distance when an adult uses one. If you happen to sustain an injury from a pressure washer, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. If the situation is dire, call 911 for emergency help.
When treating a wound caused by a pressure washer, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure proper care:
- Make sure to wash your hands with soap and clean water before treating the wound.
- Remove any objects that may be obstructing the proper care of the wound. To stop the bleeding, apply pressure to the wound using a clean cloth. Once the bleeding has ceased, rinse the wound with clean running or bottled water.
- Carefully clean the wound with soap and clean water.
After patting the wound dry, cover it with a clean adhesive bandage or a dry, clean cloth. Leaving any unclean wounds open is vital to allow for proper healing. By following these steps, you can help ensure adequate care for any injuries caused by pressure washers.
Pressure washing injuries conclusion
In conclusion, pressure washers serve as valuable tools for cleaning exterior surfaces. However, improper handling of these machines can result in severe injuries, infections, disabilities, or even fatalities. Therefore, individuals must exercise caution by adhering to basic safety guidelines when operating pressure washers. Doing so can avoid injuries while achieving a clean and aesthetically pleasing property.
Avoid Pressure Washing Injuries - Hire Us Instead!
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