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Small Engine Operation Safety

What are some general safety rules to follow when working on my engine?
Small Engine Operation Safety

Small engine operation involves risks that may be reduced by safety precautions and a safe working environment.  Specific tasks on small engines and equipment may require special safety procedures. General safety rues which apply to engine operation procedures include:

  • Never operate an engine in an enclosed area.  The work area must be properly ventilated to remove hazardous carbon nonoxide gases from the work area or other areas of the building.

  • Work in a space with ample room for maneuvering around the engine and application.

  • Use an approved spark tester to check for spark.

  • Do not have an open flame or smoke near flammable liquids.

  • Do not refuel an engine while it is operating.  Allow the engine to adequately cool before refueling.

  • Do not operate an engine if gas has spilled.  Move the engine away from the spill and avoid creating any ignition until the gas has evaporated.

  • Be familiar with engine shutoff procedures for quick response in an emergency.

  • Do not operate an engine with the air cleaner removed (excluding snow thrower engines).

  • Refuel an engine outdoors or in an approved area with proper ventilation and fire safety equipment.

  • Do not operate an engine without a muffler.

  • Disengage an engine from driven equipment as required before starting.

  • Do not operate an engine with an accumulation of grass, leaves, or other combustible materials near the muffler area.

  • Never leave an operating engine unattended.

  • Do not operate an engine at excessive speeds or adjust the governor to exeed manufacturer's specifications.

  • Avoid contact with hot engine parts such as the muffler. cylinder head,. or cooling fins.

  • Do not operate an engine in dry grass or other combustible materials that could be ignited.

  • Keep feet, hands, and clothes away from moving engine and equipment components.  Perform service and maintenance procedures with the engine not operating if possible.

  • Remove grass and other debris from cylinder fins and governor parts.

  • Do not attempt to crank an engine with the spark plug removed.

  • Always have an approved fire extinguisher near the work area.

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