Commercial Pressure WashingResidential Pressure Washing pressure washer injury

Pressure washing is an effective and efficient way to clean both residential and commercial properties. When used improperly, it is possible to inflict or suffer from a pressure washer injury. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to full-on lacerations and infections. If you plan to use a pressure washer soon, ensure to arm yourself with safety precautions to prevent injuries.


Pressure Washer Injury: What Are the Risks?

Pressure washing has become a popular method of cleaning across the world. In fact, the global pressure washer market is expected to grow to $3 billion by the year 2030. This doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider how efficient and effective pressure washing is, with more businesses offering such a service and more customers preferring it.

Pressure washing, though, isn’t perfect. While highly favored for its speed and results, pressure washing comes with its fair share of risks, particularly regarding safety.

What are the risks of using a pressure washer?

The most obvious risk is the risk of injury. Pressure washers utilize high pressure to blast away stubborn dirt and stains. When expelled at such a high pressure, even water can cause harm. Wounds may appear minor initially, but a pressure washer can deal serious wounds and damage, even leading to disability at times.

Apart from injury directly inflicted by the water, pressure washers can also send objects flying. Again, the pressure of the water can throw various objects that can then injure people and animals nearby.


treat a pressure washer injury Types of Pressure Washer Injuries

Injuries brought on by a pressure washer can take several forms. They can be minor cuts, but they can also be serious wounds. Because these wounds don’t appear grave initially, people might brush them off and fail to seek treatment. This will cause the wounds to worsen, so much so that they may even lead to disability or amputation.

What injury can a pressure washer cause?


1. Lacerations

What happens if a pressure washer hits your skin? It can cause lacerations. In fact, lacerations are the most common high-pressure washer injury. If you don’t know what a laceration is, it’s basically a deep cut or tear in the flesh. This usually happens when you use a high pressure level combined with a narrow nozzle.

At what pressure will water cut skin? Most pressure washers can produce water streams up to 4,000 PSI, but even 1,000 PSI can cut skin. To put things in perspective, a water stream of 1,700 PSI can already puncture concrete.


2. Infections

When a pressure washer cuts through your skin, it can also lead to infections, especially if the cut is deep. Open wounds are susceptible to bacteria and other germs. A pressure washer can also send water deep into the cut — a place where water shouldn’t be in the first place.


3. Eye Injuries

When it comes to the location of injuries, the lower extremities and the abdomen tend to be more prone. This is because you usually point the wand toward these areas. Of course, that doesn’t mean a pressure washer hand injury is totally out of the question.

In addition to the hands and your lower body, pressure washers can also cause harm from the neck above. Eye injuries, in particular, are more common than you think. Ocular lacerations are very painful and don’t have a good outlook. At worst, you may lose your eyesight.


4. Bruises

Bruises are a minor pressure washer injury but can still hurt a lot. These usually happen when you use a high pressure level coupled with a wider nozzle. While it’s uncommon for a pressure washer to break your bones, it can still cause bruises that feel like you’ve broken something.


5. Electric Shock

Apart from more direct injuries, a pressure washer can also inflict indirect ones. Electric shock, for instance, can occur when you don’t use the machine properly. This is more common with electric pressure washers. After all, water and electricity don’t mix.


6. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Electric pressure washers can cause electric shocks when used improperly, but gas-powered pressure washers also carry risks. You should never use gas pressure washers in enclosed spaces with no airflow. If a gas-powered washer is all you have, place the unit outside of the building and only use the wand indoors.


7. Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents

Pressure washers rely heavily on water, and water can make surfaces slippery. Thus, slip-and-fall accidents can happen. Some people even fall from high places while attempting to pressure wash their roofs, gutters, and downspouts.


How to Treat a Pressure Washer Injury

First of all, if the injury is serious and warrants emergency help, you must call 911. Heading straight to the hospital is important to avoid worsening the condition. If the injury does not need emergency help but results in an open wound, you should focus on treating the wound.

  1. Wash your hands with clean water and soap.
  2. If an object obstructs caring for the wound, promptly remove it.
  3. Place pressure on the wound using a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.
  4. Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the wound with clean running water.
  5. Clean around the wound with soap and water, making sure to be gentle to avoid aggravating the wound.
  6. Dry the wound using a clean cloth before covering it with an adhesive bandage or another clean cloth.

If the wound is not clean, do not cover it. Keep unclean wounds open to avoid infections.

Even after cleaning the wound, it is still best to seek professional medical care. This way, you can get an x-ray of the injured area, get a tetanus shot, and take antibiotics.


Pressure Washer Safety Tips to Avoid Injuries

As they say, prevention is better than cure. And you can prevent a pressure washer injury by implementing these safety tips.

  • pressure washer safety Use the pressure washer according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Do not point the pressure washer at yourself or others.
  • If you wish to move an object, use your hands. Never use a pressure washer to move an object.
  • Wear proper safety gear, including goggles for your eyes, rubber-soled shoes, gloves, and PVC clothing.
  • If you’re pressure washing the roof, use a wand attachment. Do not use a ladder or climb the roof.
  • Never use a pressure washer that runs on gasoline in an enclosed space.
  • Before using a pressure washer, test the ground fault circuit interrupter to avoid electric shocks.
  • Do not remove the grounding prong from the power cord plug of the pressure washer or extension cord.
  • If you’re using an extension cord, keep it out of any standing or running water. Use an extension cord that is safe to use in wet locations.
  • Never let children use the pressure washer.
  • Keep children and pets away from the pressure washing area.


Avoid Personal Injury, Hire a Pro

Pressure washing is an accessible cleaning method, with many home improvement stores offering them on a rental basis. Unless you’re an experienced pressure washer, it is always better to hire a professional than to take the DIY approach. Professionals are trained to use pressure washers the right way. They know what they’re doing and have access to safety equipment that helps them avoid a pressure washer injury.

Washh offers safe and professional pressure washing services to both residential and commercial properties. Call us today at 704.321.8000 or contact us online to get a free estimate!