Are You Stronger Than the Snow?
It may seem like an odd question, but make sure you are fit and healthy enough to “brave the storm” when Mother Nature dumps a load of Sierra Cement on your driveway! Shoveling is hard work and should absolutely be respected for the amount of physical energy needed to get the job done. A 2011 study, published by Clinical Research in Cardiology, showed increased heart attack risks from snow shoveling. Back pain can also be an issue as well as pulled muscles, dehydration and frostbite.
Before you run out to the driveway with your shovel or climb up on your roof to clear the snow consider these safety tips offered by the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) and OSHA:
- Stay Ahead of the Snow
Don’t let it build up. Clearing every few inches versus waiting for feet of snow to pile up will be less weight and strain on your back.
- Dress for the Temperature
Wear sturdy, warm snow boots that are waterproof with good traction. Always expect the ground to be slippery. Dress in layers, preferably in breathable fabrics, to keep you from getting overheated or dehydrated. Manual labor outside in the cold can cause you to sweat and overheat quickly.
- Treat Shoveling as Exercise.
Just like with any other strenuous physical activity, warm up and stretch before you start. Be realistic about your age and current state of health. If you wouldn’t dream of jogging around the block, maybe shoveling the driveway isn’t a brilliant idea either?
- Use Energy Saving Techniques
Focus on pushing the snow, not lifting it. Not only will this save your energy, it is also easier on your back and shoulders.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This is exercise, remember? Enough said.
- Stay Alert
Clearing snow can put you close to roadways, which in some cases have turned into dangerous winter slip-n-slides! Watch out for passing motorists and be aware of your surroundings; including falling snow and icicles from rooftops and overhangs.
- Be Prepared for an Emergency
Keep a charged cell phone on you and make sure another adult knows that you are working outside in the snow. If you live alone, have a check-in call planned when you are finished. Quick response in an emergency
could easily mean your life.
- Safe Roof Clearing
Check the area for hazards, such as ice layers that can make the roof too dangerous to walk on. Roofs with a heavy amount of snow need to be inspected for possible collapse before the added weight of a person. Be cautious of overhead power lines and hidden skylights or other protrusions that you could trip over or fall through.
“OSHA suggests avoiding these hazards by finding other ways to remove snow from roofs besides climbing on them. If climbing is necessary, make sure you have the proper equipment such as ladders, aerial lifts and PPE (personal protective equipment) such as personal fall arrest systems and non-slip safety boots.”
Did you know that we have a snow removal service in the winter? If not, now you do! Give us a call and you can safely sip your coffee and wave to us from the window while we clear a path for you!