Japan Govt Calling for Proper Use of Snow Blowers

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--With the snowfall season having started in full in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and Tohoku northeastern region, the Consumer Affairs Agency is calling for snow blowers to be used in an appropriate manner to ensure safety in the wake of a series of fatal accidents last winter.

A snow blower has a metal auger that rotates to plow the snow. It then blows the snow away through a part called a chute. Many snow blowers start operating with the auger beginning to rotate when the users grip a lever on the handle and stop when the lever is let go.

Between November last year and March this year, a total of 90 accidents involving snow blowers occurred in 11 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Akita in Tohoku, and the central prefecture of Niigata, according to the agency's Consumer Safety Investigation Commission.

In the accidents, eight people died and 46 suffered serious injuries.

A survey by the commission showed that about 60 pct of snow blower users are in their 60s or older and that 35.8 pct of all respondents have had experiences that could have led to serious accidents.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press