December 01, 2020

Snow removal safety

It's the season of snow in many places, which means it's also the season of snow removal injuries and accidents such as muscle strains, falls and heart attacks. To remove snow safely:

  • Clear physical activity with your doctor — Particularly if you usually aren't very active or you have heart or vascular problems.
  • Step aside — If shoveling or snowblowing is not a safe choice for you, hire a professional or a neighborhood teen, or ask a local organization such as your church about volunteers who can help.
  • Prepare yourself — Dress for the weather with layers you can remove if you get hot. A mouth covering such as a scarf can help warm air before it reaches your lungs, reducing the risk of asthma-related problems. Wear boots with a good grip to avoid slipping on ice. Stretch before shoveling.
  • Watch your eating pattern — Avoid large meals before or after you shovel, as eating directs blood flow to your stomach for digestion and away from your heart and brain.
  • Shovel small amounts — Use a small shovel so you aren't tempted to pick up too much snow at a time. If there's a lot of snow in the forecast, shovel several times during the snowfall so you don't have to shovel as much at once.
  • Push, don't lift — Whenever possible, don't lift snow, push it. If lifting is unavoidable, bend...