If a few inches of snow hits your neighborhood, it can take you hours to dig your car out and get to work. And that’s not including how long it takes to clear your walkway or driveway!
Although shoveling snow may be a necessary evil during the winter months, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to make it more effective and safer.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. Here are a few snow shoveling safety tips to make your next snowstorm a little easier.
Prepare Properly Before Shoveling
Preparing well before shoveling snow is of great importance to ensure one’s winter safety and well-being. Firstly, check the weather forecast so that you are aware of any hazardous conditions that may arise.
Wear appropriate clothing for the cold weather, such as waterproof boots, a hat, mittens, and several layers of clothes. Make sure to stretch out your arms and legs beforehand, as any muscle strain can cause serious injuries while shoveling.
Always use the correct-sized shovel, avoiding any too heavy or too long that can be hard to manage. Make sure to shovel snow in small loads, avoiding any shoveling of wet, heavy snow.
Drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks. Lastly, remember that snow blowing is generally easier and safer than shoveling and should be used if possible.
Pick Your Shovel Carefully
Start by selecting a shovel that is suitable for the job. Choose a shovel that is the right size and weight for your body type and strength.
Make sure the shovel you choose is built to last and can handle heavy snow loads. Additionally, pay attention to the handle, as you want one that won’t give you blisters or cause fatigue.
Lastly, opt for a shovel with a curved handle to reduce the strain on your back. Shovels with adjustable handles can also help you find the most comfortable and safer way for you to do your job.
Deal With Slippery Surfaces
Take your time and wear boots with good traction and tread. Make sure shovels and other tools are in good condition and for heavier wet snow, use a lighter shovel to prevent back injuries.
Before shoveling, sprinkle sand or ice melt on icy surfaces to provide a non-slip layer. Be sure to use good safety snow removal techniques such as lifting with your legs as opposed to your back and not overloading the shovel.
If you spot a slippery surface, avoid walking on it, as you may slip, slip and potentially injure yourself. For extra slippery patches, spread sand or cat litter for more grip.
Finally, if the surface is very slippery, it is safest to wait until the snow melts and refreezes to the concrete before shoveling. This will reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries.
Sustainable Shoveling Snow Practices
Overall, shoveling snow can help with wintertime snow removal for a driveway, sidewalk, or path entrance, but it’s important to shovel safely.
Using a rest, recovery, and repeat approach to sustainable snow removal practices can help reduce the risk of injury. Start slowly. Stay warm, stay safe!
Being aware of these will help prevent potential injuries and ensure a safe winter season. So, when it’s time to break out the shovel, be sure to stay safe and follow these safety tips!
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