pressure washer safety tips

With winter out of the way many home owners are busy with spring cleaning. Outdoor spring cleaning projects may include cleaning up the debris that gathered in the yard and moss or dirt that now lines your driveway, patio or the siding of your house. The most efficient way to clean moss or dirt is with a pressure washer.

Compared to a hose that produces water at 50 pounds per square inch (PSI), pressure washers pump out water at a rate of 1,500 to 4,000 PSI. This powerful tool can cause serious injury if it isn’t handled properly, though. It is important to follow pressure washer safety tips to prevent a pressure washer accident. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 6,057 people visited an emergency room for pressure washer injuries in 2014; 14 percent of those ER visits led to additional hospitalization.

Pressure washer injuries

When the spray from a pressure washer is misdirected onto the skin, instant damage is the likely result. Lacerations are the most common injury caused by pressure washers followed by bruises, punctures and eye injuries. One of the hidden issues with a pressure washer injury is that the water can burrow itself deep into the tissue then spread out and cause a bacterial infection, even in a small cut.

Pressure washer safety tips

According to, consumers should stay away from using a zero-degree nozzle because it concentrates the equipment’s full pressure into a single, narrow blast. Higher degree nozzles can be very effective without such a high risk for injury; look for nozzles that produce sprays of 15 degrees or wider. Many pressure washers let you connect wand extensions to reach higher surfaces, negating the need for a zero-degree nozzle.

No matter the type of nozzle you use, always wear goggles, long pants and sleeves and enclosed, sturdy footwear.

Additional safety tips:

  • Always follow manufacturer safety instructions
  • Never operate machinery if you are fatigued or using medication that makes you drowsy
  • Never operate a pressure washer with kids nearby and ensure adults keep away
  • Your pressure washer should always be properly grounded and in good repair
  • Make sure that the power cord does not become wet

If your pressure washer has an internal short you could be the victim of a fatal electrical short. If your loved one was killed or injured because of a defective power washer you may be able to file a defective products lawsuit. Contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation.

If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!