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In the Community March 3, 2016

Snow Removal Safety Tips

Snow Removal Safety Tips

When snow accumulates on driveways, it can be removed using either snow blowers or ‘good old fashioned’ shovels. Even though it requires considerable effort, snow shoveling can be accomplished easily with proper guidance. Below are several tips to shovel snow safely and efficiently:

  • Snow should be pushed using a shovel designed for this purpose. Pushing snow is much less physically demanding than lifting.
  • For lifting snow, using a shovel that has a bend on the handle will help prevent back injuries.
  • Plastic shovels are lighter than metal counterparts and will help reduce lifted weight.
  • Snow should be shoveled as soon as the snowfall settles, but not at night. The best time to do it is early in the day, when the snow is lighter and less compact.
  • Salt, sand or cat litter can be spread on the ground if it’s slippery. This will provide traction for boots.
  • Before shoveling, those who are doing the task should dress in light layers and choose clothing that allows easy movement.
  • Preparing the body is also important: stretching the muscles, especially the back, arms and legs.
  • Tips for back protection when shoveling snow:
    • Keeping one hand close to the blade and the other close to the tip of the handle.
    • Using the leg muscles to lift the snow, instead of the back.
    • Bending the knees to get lower, keeping the back straight and holding the shovel close to the body.
    • Shoveling small loads of snow at a time to reduce the effort.
    • Walking towards the area where snow is deposited and discarding it calmly, instead of tossing it from a distance.
    • Avoiding to twist the body when throwing snow.
    • Taking short breaks frequently and drinking water to keep hydrated.

Snow on roofs should also be removed in order to avoid ice dams and roof damage. This article provides guidelines for snow roof removal. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.

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