Safe Snow Removal

Sources: The National Safety Council & Safety Daily Advisor

 Winter is in full swing in Eastern Pennsylvania and many of us will have to do some sort of snow removal this season, either at home or work. It’s necessary to clear driveways and walkways of snow for safety reasons and it can also be good exercise but, there is the potential for some serious health hazards.

 The following tips may help you, your family or your employees remain safe and injury free while shoveling.

–         Individuals over the age of 40, or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful.

–         Individuals with a history of heart trouble should not shovel without expresses permission from their doctor.

–         Do NOT shovel while eating or smoking.

–         Move slowly. Shoveling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically.

–         Stretch before you shovel.

–         Shovel freshly fallen, powdery snow.  Fresh snow is easier to move than after it’s been packed down.

–         Don’t pick up too much at once.

–         Lift with your legs bent to avoid back injury.

–         Avoid twisting the body while shoveling.

–         If out of breath, stop and take a break.

–         Dress warmly.

 An alternative to shoveling is using snow blower. They can take a lot of bodily stress off the individual, but safety precautions must still be kept in mind.

 The following are tips for the safe use of a snow blower:

–         Clear the area of debris before you begin using the snow blower.

–         Direct snow away from people and vehicles.

–         Don’t exceed blower capacity.

–         Always stop the engine before cleaning snow from blades or chute.

–         Never put your hand in the discharge chute. Turn the engine off and then use a shovel handle to clear away snow or debris.

–         Shut off engine and remove the spark plug wire before making repairs or mechanical adjustments.

–         When clearing slopes, work up and down the slope, not across the face.

–         Never leave a blower running unattended.

–         Always handle and store gasoline safely.

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Safe Snow Removal was last modified: August 26th, 2014 by Sarah McGorry