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Winter Season: Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on January 2, 2020 at 1:21 PM

It’s that time again: a whole lot of that fluffy white stuff has covered the ground. It might be pretty while it’s falling, cleaning it off your driveway or front porch isn’t nearly as fun, especially if you don’t have a snowblower.

Snow removal is more than just tedious and tiring, though. If you’re not careful, you could easily hurt yourself. That’s why we’ve gathered the best snow shoveling safety tips for the winter season to help you stay safe while getting the job done.

Choose Your Tool

There are a lot of different makes and models when it comes to snow shovels, perhaps more than you even thought possible. Let’s cut through the noise: all you need to worry about is whether your snow shovel is the right size and shape for the job. Those that minimize the amount of bending over are ideal, as are more lightweight plastic ones if you don’t have the strength to lift a heavy metal shovel.

Before You Venture Outside

Before you even step out into the cold, you need to take some precautions. Don’t just throw a jacket over your pajamas — dress warmly and in layers so you can take them off or put them back on to avoid overheating or getting too cold. Speaking of heat, make sure you warm up before beginning to shovel by doing some light stretching to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

While You’re Doing the Deed

Shoveling is a chore, but it’s not one that has to be exhausting. Make sure you begin shoveling well before you have to leave the house so you don’t feel rushed. Use your shovel to push the snow instead of lifting it out of the way whenever possible, as this is often less strenuous. If you do need to lift shovelsful of snow out of the way, use your legs; bend your knees to avoid straining your back.

Miscellaneous Snow Shovel Safety Tips

Looking for a few more tips to round out snow shovel safety? Make sure you don’t overtax yourself. Take breaks every 20 minutes or so to catch your breath. Go back inside and have a seat. Keep yourself hydrated on these breaks. If you’re weathering a major blizzard, you can make short but frequent trips outside to clear the snow as it accumulates, as this means less snow to clear each time. Newly fallen snow is also easier to move, as it’s still light and fluffy. After you’ve cleared everything, consider laying down some sand or ice melt to provide extra traction on driveways and paths.

The Final Word on Snow Shovel Safety

Nobody likes clearing snow, but it has to be done. Keeping safe during snow removal is crucial, so keep the above tips in mind to make your next snow shoveling experience risk-free.

Check out our other posts in the Safety Wonderland blog series:

Topics: Winter Safety, Holiday Safety

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