10 Pressure Washing Safety Tips to Prevent Accidents
Pressure washers are often used to clean sidewalks, decks, siding and more. But before you grab your pressure washer or wand, take a minute to consider the safety precautions that should be taken. This article will teach you what you need to know about pressure washing safety.
1. Pressure Washers can Cause Injury or Death
Products such as pressure washers that operate at high pressures and produce high volumes of liquid flow could cause injury, including:
- Eye injuries from contact with liquid thrown by the pressure washer
- Bone fractures from recoil of the hose or wand
- Severe lacerations and amputations if body parts come in contact with rotating parts, such as the pump impeller and fan blades.
2. Keep Children Away – Never Let Them Play Near a Pressure Washer Unattended
Pressure washers should always be turned off, disconnected from power supply and kept out of reach (at least 10 feet away) when not in use. Kids and pets, who may accidentally come into contact with a pressure washer in use, may be severely injured.
3. Never Point the Nozzle at Anyone or Disturb Anything that Can Break Easily
Do not ever point the nozzle (or wand) at people and animals and do not aim it toward other objects. The high-pressure water stream could break easily which could cause injury to anyone within its path of movement. It can also cause damage to items such as:
- Wooden decks and fences
- Lawn furniture and toys
- Painted surfaces such as siding on homes or buildings
4. Always Wear Protective Clothing when Operating a Pressure Washer
Always wear protective clothing while operating a pressure washer. Do not wear loose clothing and ensure that your shoes do not have laces or straps. When using a commercial pressure washer, read and follow all safety instructions and warnings provided with the unit – this includes wearing protective clothing recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment.
5. Keep Hoses Away from Sharp Objects
Always keep hoses as far away as possible from sharp objects such as metal edging on sidewalks and driveways, nails in lumber, broken glass, etc. Use special care when washing beneath items such as porches with items hanging overhead (such as gutters) to avoid damage to those objects from thrown water.
6. Watch for Signs of Wear and Tear on Your Pressure Washer
Check the pressure washer for signs of wear and tear, including damaged or cracked hoses, leaks at couplings/fittings, loose wires on electrical components, etc. If you notice anything amiss with your unit or system components while cleaning, immediately stop using the equipment until repairs are made by a professional.
7. Never Leave Your Pressure Washer Unattended
While you may be able to get the job done faster by leaving the pressure washer running unattended during use–the risk of injury due to contact with rotating parts is increased if not paying close attention to what’s happening around it. Unattended washing can also result in damage to property due to incorrect operation (example: allowing the nozzle tip to touch the surface you’re cleaning, resulting in damage to that item).
8. Be Careful When Handling Hoses
Do not carry hoses by any part other than where they are connected to ensure you don’t strain the fittings or couplings/yokes at either end of the hose. This will also help prevent kinks and blockage within the unit. Be mindful of sharp edges when transporting hoses (for instance, if transporting on top of a vehicle), as this can easily result in tears or punctures to the hose.
9. Keep Eye Protection Nearby
Although it is recommended that all users wear eye protection while operating pressure washers, avoid wearing glasses with regular lenses – they will shatter with the powerful spray of water. Prescription glasses or goggles designed for use with pressure washers are best suited to protect against injuries.
10. Ensure Power Supply is Ready and Accessible
To ensure there is adequate power supply, check the amperage of the circuit breaker. If necessary, install an additional circuit or upgrade your existing electrical service before starting out. If working outdoors where extension cords are used, be sure they are in good condition (free of cuts, frays, and separation at plug/cord junctions). If you’re using an extension cord reel – be sure it’s rolled up properly and securely before moving on to another area to clean.
In summary, safety should always be a primary concern when operating a pressure washer – whether for home use, or as part of your business. By following these pressure washer safety precautions, you can protect yourself from injury and prevent damage to property. If you have any questions about the equipment you’re using, be sure to consult with a professional before continuing.