When your driveway is full of thick snow, it’s easy to injure yourself trying to remove it — if you are like everyone else, getting the motivation to shovel snow can be a chore in itself.
Believe it or not, shoveling snow has led to many injuries this year already- from back injuries to heart attacks. You can never be too careful when you finally get out there to tackle this dreadful task. From frigid temperatures to the overexerting yourself removing snow from your driveway, snow shoveling can be a perfect storm for injuries.
Ice Maker Geeks have always been about everything ice (from portable ice makers, ice cream makers to how we handle ice in our everyday life), and so we decided to throw you out a lifeline this winter by giving you a fabulous list of safety tips that will help you be safe when you shovel snow.
Below is our list of six shoveling snow safety tips that could save your life.
STAY WARM AND WARM UP
Our first tip for shoveling snow begins with making sure you are prepared for the weather. Good gloves, a warm coat, and boots is a very important safety tip and where it all begins.
You want to make sure that you’re warm so that you don’t rush the process of snow removal. When we rush the process, this is when you usually put yourself into a vulnerable position to get hurt.
It’s also important to do some light warm-up exercises before you start to shovel snow. Some good warm-up exercises include bending side to side and jogging on the spot. You want to make sure that your muscles are warmed up before you start with any substantial activity.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB
Don’t pound in a nail with a shoe! It may finally get the job done, but you would be more efficient to use a hammer.
Snow shoveling is the same way. You want to use the right shovel, one designed correctly to minimize injury, before you start. Take a peek at the Snow Joe on Amazon. It’s the #1 choice shovel for preventing injury while shoveling.
If you have the budget, I would suggest that you invest in a snow blower or snow thrower. Snow Joe makes a great snow thrower and it’s available on Amazon. The investment isn’t that high, but it sure does make a huge difference.
According to the National Saftey Council, they say that snow blower safety tips are as follows:
- If the blower jams, turn it off
- Keep your hands away from the moving parts
- Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
- Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel when it is running
- Never leave it unattended when it is running
If a shovel is your weapon of choice, I suggest that you use a lighter shovel. Plastic shovels, instead of metal ones, means you lift less during each load.
PUSH THE SNOW RATHER THAN LIFT IT
Pushing the snow to the sides of your driveway is the best method for shoveling. Pushing snow rather than lifting it, minimizes strain on your back and muscles.
It’s also important not to throw the snow, but walk it over to a snowbank and dump it. If you have to throw snow, take small portion sizes.
If you have to lift snow, lift with your knees and not with your back.
CLEAN YOUR DRIVEWAY IN STEPS
Instead of waiting for the entire snowfall to be dumped on your driveway, think smaller. When a snowstorm begins, try to go out every 30 mins which means you have a smaller amount to move. Don’t wait too long after the snow storm is finished though; the snow is usually lighter and fluffier when it first lands on the ground.
You heard of the saying, “you’ve bitten off more than you can chew!” Talking a smaller task is the same in snow removal. Smaller portions are better when you are removing snow.
If you insist on waiting until the snow storm is over, make sure you take 10-15 minute breaks during the task. Do not overdo it. It’s essential never to work to the point of exhaustion, and make sure you know the signs of a heart attack.
KEEP LIQUIDS CLOSE
Make sure that you keep hydrated during the entire process. Take a bottle of water and toss it in the snow bank. This will keep the water cold and close when you need it.
CALL IN BACKUP
Working together is a great way to clear your driveway from freshly fallen snow. Ask a neighbor for help in exchange for your help with removing snow from their lane, is a good deal for both parties involved.
Ask some friends or children to give you a hand as well. They say that “many hands make light work!” which is right in so many ways.
If you see a neighbor shoveling snow, take some time and provide them with a helping hand. Helping others is the neighborly thing to do.
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