Safely Clearing Snow and Ice
January 9, 2018
Whether you’re the type of person who only shovels a quick path to the car, or you carefully remove every speck of ice and snow, there’s no question that you’ll need to do some type of snow removal this time of year. If you own a business, you may find it mandatory to keep your entrance-way spotless and safe.
Keeping the walkway clear may seem like just another chore when needed, but shoveling snow does pose some risk. The heavy lifting that is involved when you shovel wet snow and ice can result in injury. The addition of cold weather actually makes the activity more strenuous on the body, especially the back, shoulders and neck. Even clearing snow using a snow blower can be risky. It’s not uncommon for people who use them to receive injuries, such as lacerations and (in extreme cases) even amputations. To decrease risk, make sure you are well-prepared for the task ahead.
Know Before You Go
Wear warm layers that you can add/remove as you get warm or cold, but make sure that they don’t restrict your movement or obstruct your view. Wear insulated footwear with appropriate tread that won’t send you sledding (minus the sled) down the driveway as you remove snow.
Shoveling can be a great bonus workout if you’re into that kind of thing, but if you would rather avoid making it an overly strenuous activity, try to keep up with the snowfall as quickly as possible. An added bonus to keeping it cleared is that it’s less dangerous. The longer you wait for the snow to accumulate the heavier the layer of snow and ice will be when you lift that shovel.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, or you don’t exercise regularly, you should talk to your doctor to see if vigorous activity is safe for you. It may be in your best interest to hire a snow shoveling service. Even if you are in good health, it is still a good idea to stretch your muscles before you head outdoors to start shoveling. Stretching reduces your risk of pulling a muscle.
It’s important to stay hydrated. Take a break if you start feeling overexerted. Always use the appropriate lifting techniques. Be sure to lift with your legs – not your back. Also, avoid twisting your body as you shovel. If you can, push the snow instead of lifting it. Avoid heavy lifting as much as possible to reduce your risk of injury. Use a shovel that is comfortable for your size.
The first safety tip if you are using a snow blower is to make sure that you never leave it unattended. It’s also important that you’re comfortable using your device. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly before using. NEVER use your own hands or body to remove lodged snow. ALWAYS use another object, and first, make sure that everything has been properly turned off before attempting to remove anything. If you are using a gas blower, add fuel before use to prevent harm. If you are using an electric blower with a cord, be careful to keep the cord out of the way while in use. Unplug equipment before cleaning.
A big part of keeping your driveway and walkways safe is keeping the surface free from ice. Apply a deicer, like salt, to pathways to help prevent slips and falls. The Staker Parson Landscape Center carries salt at a low price. Stop by our Ogden or Beck Street location today for a bag or five gallon bucket of salt to help keep the ice away. We also take special orders, call 801-409-9500 for more information.