Pressure Washing Safety Tips
When you are using pressure washers, it is important to follow some safety tips to avoid bodily injury. Here are some stock photos that do not demonstrate proper power washer safety.
Spray at an angle
This photo shows a person pressure washing a deck extremely close to their feet.
This picture does show a safety tip of wearing closed toe shoes, but they are spraying the ground at a nearly 90-degree angle.
Always step back from where you are pressure washing and spray the water at an angle.
Spraying water at an angle will ensure that all debris and water flows away from you. This will also deter water from shooting up into your face when hitting cracks and uneven surfaces.
You also do not want to spray too close to wood because the pressure can splinter or break it.
Do not use a pressure washer to move debris
This stock photo shows someone moving loose debris with a pressure washer. The CDC’s Pressure Washer Safety Guide explains that a pressure washer will turn loose debris into dangerous projectiles.
The speed of the pressurized water will throw small rocks and gravel around which can lead to bodily injury or property damage. This stock photo shows especially dangerous practice also because the small cracks in the brick pavers can redirect the gravel towards the washing operator.
When you need to move a large quantity of loose gravel and dirt, use a broom instead of a pressure washer.
Use eye protection
In this stock photo, a man is cleaning graffiti off of a wall. The man is squinting from the water and debris that is shooting back at him.
Paint chips, cement pieces, grit, and water can all shoot back at your face, making it necessary to wear eye protection when operating a pressure washer. If you have to squint to shield your eyes from the back spray, you should take it as a reminder to wear eye protection.
Eye protection is especially important when pressure washing a vertical surface because the blowback will be at eye level.
At the very least, you should wear glasses, but goggles or even a full face mask are better for maximum safety.
Do not spray towards yourself
This photo shows a man holding a car hub cap while holding a nozzle only inches away from his fingers.
Pressurized air mixed with water can leave your skin with lacerations, bruises, and fractures. Water may seem harmless but, at the extreme speed a pressure washer shoots water, it turns into a very dangerous projectile.
You should never point a pressure washer at yourself.
If you have to pressure wash a loose object, you should mount or clamp it down instead of holding it.
Do not spray towards others
For the same reasons why you should not spray a pressure washer at yourself, you should not spray it towards others.
This photo shows poor pressure washer safety because the pressurized water is only inches away from the girl’s hand. The girl is also in the direct path of debris and overspray.
Make sure your surroundings and direction of spray are clear before you start pressure washing.