Consumer Product Safety

Press release 2011.11.10[Preventing Accidents Involving Snow Plows]

Preventing Accidents Involving Snow Plows

National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Product Safety Technology Center
November 10, 2011

NITE (National Institute of Technology and Evaluation; President: Itaru Yasui) gave a presentation for the media on preventing accidents involving snow plows as shown in the attached materials.

1. Press release

Release date:
November 10, 2011
Preventing Product Accidents during the Post-disaster Recovery Period
Product Safety Technology Center
Product accidents reported to the Product Safety Technology Center at NITE include 31 cases*1 involving heaters in the five years from fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2010. Classifying these accidents by damage, they include 12 cases with casualties (12 persons) and nine cases with severe injuries (nine persons). Among the 31 snow plow accidents reported to NITE, 21 cases were caused by improper use or carelessness, accounting for 68% of the total. By cause, nine cases, the largest group, involved a person getting caught in the machine because of operator released the safety device*2, while four cases involved getting caught between the snow plow and a wall or similar structure due to operator error. In two cases, children playing near an operating snow plow were caught in the machine. Accidents involving snow plows mostly occur in snowy regions such as Hokkaido, Tohoku and Shinetsu. They are mainly caused by improper use including the operator releasing the safety device and the machine overturning on a snowy road. These accidents tend to result in severe damage. NITE thinks that it is important to promote consumer awareness of the details of these types of accident, reduce cases if improper use and prevent accidents. For this reason, they will give a presentation to the media as follows.
Number of accidents excluding overlapping cases or non-applicable cases at
September 30, 2011
Safety devices:
Dead man clutch: With this system, when the operator loses hold of the operating handle, the engine keeps running but the rotating screw stops and the machine stops moving because the operating clutch and drive clutch are released.
Emergency stop switch: With this system the operator is connected to the snow plow by a cord or similar. When the operator moves away from the machine further than the cord allows, the cord stops the engine and the rotating screw, and the machine stops moving.
Press briefing paper in Japanese

For more information;
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Product Safety Technology Center, Product Safety Investigation Division

Contact us

 Consumer Product Safety Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16 Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 5590034, Japan MAP