Here are some Good Safety Tips to keep in mind when shoveling snow, brought to by Home Care Buzz.
Shoveling snow isn’t as simple as it sounds, especially if you want to prevent injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 115,000 people were treated in emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, or urgent care clinics last year as a result of snow removal-related injuries.
Before you start digging out after a snowstorm, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends you review these safety tips.
- Use the shovel to push snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, take small amounts of snow and lift it with your legs: squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift by straightening your legs, without bending at the waist.
- Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. Throwing requires a twisting motion that puts stress on your back. Instead, walk to where you want to dump the snow.
- Clear snow early and often. Begin when a light covering of snow is on the ground to avoid having to clear packed, heavy snow.
- Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath, seek immediate emergency care.
- When snow blowing, follow instructions carefully. Prior to operating a snow blower, read the instruction manual for specific safety hazards, unfamiliar features, or for repair and maintenance.
- Never stick your hands or feet in the snow blower. If snow becomes impacted, turn off the engine or unplug the snow blower. Use a solid object to clear wet snow or debris from the chute. Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the machine has been turned off.
- Do not leave the snow blower unattended when it is running. Always shut off the engine if you must walk away from the machine.