The Dangers of Using Pressure Washing: Are You Vulnerable to Injury?

The world of cleaning has witnessed a revolutionary rise in the popularity of pressure washing. This technique, capable of rejuvenating both homes and businesses, is undoubtedly efficient. In fact, the global pressure washer market is projected to reach a whopping $3 billion by 2030. It’s no surprise, given the effectiveness and growing demand for this service.

However, like any tool, pressure washers come with their own set of risks, particularly concerning safety. Improper usage can lead to injuries ranging from minor cuts to severe lacerations and infections. If you’re contemplating a pressure washing venture, equip yourself with essential safety knowledge to steer clear of potential mishaps.

Pressure Washing Injury: The Perils Unveiled

Recognizing the Threats of Pressure Washer Use

Pressure washing boasts undeniable benefits, yet it’s not without its downsides. Amidst the speed and remarkable outcomes, it’s essential to acknowledge the accompanying risks, particularly those related to safety.

Understanding the Hazards

The Obvious Threat, Injury: The very nature of pressure washers lies in their ability to utilize high pressure to obliterate stubborn grime and stains. This high-pressure stream can even turn water into a hazardous agent. Initial injuries might appear trivial, but the force of a pressure washer can inflict severe damage, potentially leading to disabilities.

Objects on the Move: Beyond water’s direct impact, pressure washers have the capability to launch objects into the air due to their forceful streams. Such airborne objects can pose harm to nearby individuals and animals, becoming unforeseen projectiles.

Various Forms of Pressure Washer Injuries

Pressure washer injuries encompass a range of possibilities, from minor scrapes to significant wounds. The injuries might seem trivial initially, prompting individuals to dismiss them. Unfortunately, neglecting treatment can worsen these wounds, even culminating in long-term disability or amputation.

The Potential Injuries

Lacerations: A high-pressure stream from a pressure washer can lead to lacerations—deep cuts or tears in the flesh. This often occurs when a narrow nozzle combines with a high pressure level. Remarkably, even a pressure stream of 1,000 PSI can break skin, with the potential to puncture concrete at 1,700 PSI.

Infections: Besides direct harm, pressure washers can introduce infections. A cut from a pressure washer might expose the body to bacteria and germs, potentially leading to infections—especially when cuts are deep.

Eye Injuries: While lower extremities and the abdomen are more commonly at risk, other areas are vulnerable too. Eye injuries, for instance, are more frequent than one might assume. Ocular lacerations can lead to excruciating pain and, at worst, even loss of eyesight.

Bruises: Though less severe, bruises can result from a pressure washer accident. A high-pressure level combined with a wider nozzle can still cause discomfort akin to a broken bone.

Electric Shock: Indirect injuries are also plausible, with electric shock being one such hazard. Using a pressure washer improperly, especially electric one, can result in electrical shock—an unsurprising outcome given the incompatible nature of water and electricity.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: While gas-powered pressure washers hold their own risks, electric models aren’t without danger. Improper use of gas washers in enclosed spaces lacking airflow can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents: The water-intensive nature of pressure washing can create slippery surfaces, leading to slip-and-fall accidents. Climbing rooftops or using ladders for pressure washing roofs, gutters, and downspouts can also result in dangerous falls.

Navigating Pressure Washer Injuries: A Road to Recovery

For severe injuries requiring immediate attention, dial 911 and head to the hospital. When addressing wounds that don’t necessitate emergency help, focus on proper wound treatment:

  • Clean your hands with soap and clean water.
  • Remove any objects obstructing wound care.
  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding using a clean cloth.
  • Once bleeding subsides, clean the wound with running water.
  • Wash around the wound with soap and water gently.
  • Dry the wound with a clean cloth before covering it.
  • However, professional medical care remains crucial. Seek medical attention for an x-ray, tetanus shot, and antibiotics.

Pressure Washer Safety Measures: A Path to Prevention

Preventing a pressure washer injury is undoubtedly preferable to dealing with its aftermath. Implement these safety measures:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper usage.
  • Avoid aiming the pressure washer at yourself or others.
  • Use your hands, not the pressure washer, to move objects.
  • Wear adequate safety gear, including goggles, gloves, rubber-soled shoes, and PVC clothing.
  • If pressure washing a roof, opt for a wand attachment instead of a ladder.
  • Never use gas-powered washers indoors without proper ventilation.
  • Before usage, check the ground fault circuit interrupter to prevent electric shocks.
  • Retain the grounding prong on the power cord plug.
  • When using an extension cord, ensure it’s suitable for wet conditions.
  • Keep pressure washers away from children and pets.

Engaging Professionals: Avoiding Personal Injuries

Pressure washing might seem accessible through rentals, but hiring professionals is often wiser. Their experience, training, and safety equipment ensure a safer and more efficient cleaning process. If you’re considering pressure washing in Myrtle Beach, opt for professional services to minimize risks and achieve pristine results.

Contact K&M Pressure Washing LLC today for secure and top-notch pressure washing solutions for both residential and commercial spaces. Your safety and property are our priorities.

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K&M Pressure Washing LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC