professional-pressure-washingMany people underestimate the power of a pressure washing machine. Serious and even fatal injuries can result if fundamental security measures are ignored or when using pressure washers improperly. The two principal sorts of pressure washing machines are gas and electric. Higher pressure is clearly a faster and more effective cleaning tool… but with the greater pressure, comes the greater opportunity for serious harm.

Serious injuries from a pressure washer may include abrasions, slip and falls, blindness, and high pressure injection. The sheer pressure of water is strong enough to cause an injury, but using chemicals during the cleaning procedure can make a bad situation worse. Harms and wounds sustained while pressure washing services can seem odd but should constantly be analyzed and treated by a physician or qualified emergency care provider.

Abrasions are a standard injury associated with pressure washing. To reduce the danger of getting abrasions, wear protective clothing including gloves, closed shoes and long pants. Avoid pointing the pressure washer at other individuals, yourself and pets. Do not depress the trigger until you’re sure of where the gun is pointing and use care not to spray your hands, feet or legs.

Slips and falls can result in death or hospitalization. Wet surfaces will be more slippery and ice can form rapidly in cold climates. Using a pressure washer on a ladder or other raised surface is dangerous because of the backward force of a pressure washing firearm, which can readily throw someone off balance. Understand your work place and water will influence the surface. Use appropriate safety harnesses when controlling a pressure washer from crane, lift, or a ladder.

Other eye injuries and blindness can occur not only from being sprayed directly in the eye, but from foreign objects or substances flying through the air. The power of water at high pressure can send other harmful debris, nails, glass, and rocks hurtling through the air at damaging speeds. Substances and detergents can also splash upwards from the surface. Always wear shock resistant and splash resistant safety glasses or goggles when using a pressure washer. In the event of a chemical-related eye injury, seek immediate medical help and be sure to take the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or label describing the chemical’s properties for the physicians’ review.

High-pressure injection (HPI) happens when water and other debris/chemical penetrates the skin and causes deep tissue damage. Serious infections may finally result in long-term disability or amputation of the affected body parts and are not highly unlikely with HPI. To decrease the risk of HPI, use fan nozzles or wide angle to disburse the pressure over a broader region. Solid stream nozzles can do more harm and should be avoided whenever possible. As with abrasions, wear protective garments and never point the pressure washing wand at another person or yourself.

Special concerns for each specific type of machine should be considered. With electric pressure washers (as with any electrical tool around water) there is the risk of electric shock. Use of gas- can cause asphyxiation by carbon monoxide inhalation when used without proper ventilation. Abuse of hot-water and steam pressure washers may lead to serious burns that could probably require medical attention. Make sure to read and understand its operation guide, paying special attention to all safety precautions when controlling any pressure washer.

Do not be among the thousands of individuals each year that underestimate the power of a pressure washer and ultimately necessitate hospitalization for their harms. Give the respect it deserves to the machine and use security measures that are required for each unique scenario. Consider hiring a mobile pressure washing service to finish your job, if you’ve any doubts about controlling a machine. A quick Internet search for “pressure washing in (your city)” will likely bring about tons of professional businesses that would be happy to give you a free estimate.