Snow Removal Safety Tips - Summit Cover

February 17, 2024

As winter deepens its grip, snow-covered landscapes bring joy and wonder. But while snowball fights and picturesque scenes offer ample entertainment value, snow removal poses hidden hazards that must be acknowledged to avoid injuries caused by shoveling or using snowblowers. By adhering to these snow removal safety tips by SummitCover, you can confidently conquer snowdrifts for both your home and your body's sake!

Dress for Success: Layering is Key

Imagine this: while braving through heavy snow, sweating under bulky clothing only to end up cold and wet cotton stuck against your skin - that wouldn't be ideal, would it? As opposed to this scenario, layer your clothing so it stretches and breathes easily, thus helping regulate temperatures better and regulate any necessary adjustment processes easily. Here's an effective strategy:

  1. Base Layer: Initiate with moisture-wicking thermals to keep you warm and dry.
  2. Mid Layer: Opt for fleece or wool sweaters, providing excellent insulation.
  3. Outer Layer: Opt for a waterproof jacket and pants so you can be protected from snow and wind.
  4. Accessories: Don't forget that warm socks, gloves or mittens, hats, and scarves should be used as accessories to prevent any skin from the cold environment from getting chilled.

As your body warms up, begin to remove layers to prevent overheating and wet discomfort.

Listen to Your Body: You Should Warm Up and Slow Down

Shoveling snow is not only about strength but also endurance because it is an aerobic exercise. Make the most out of this opportunity to strengthen both mind and body by engaging in light stretching and warm-up exercises before beginning to shovel snow, such as arm circles, leg swings, or jumping jacks to prepare your muscles and heart for exertion and reduce strain or injury risks.

Additionally, pay attention to what your body tells you - don't push too hard, especially if this activity is foreign to you; take frequent breaks when fatigue sets in; and don't hesitate to seek assistance when needed; always put safety before exertion!

Read more: Do you need insurance for snow removal?

Master the Lift-Shove Technique by Lifting Smart and Shoving Smarter

Handling snow properly is key to prevent snow shoveling and snow-blowing injuries and here are a few essential rules:

1. Bend at the Knees, Not the Back

For optimal results when lifting, keep your legs hip-width apart when squatting down and use leg muscles instead of back muscles to minimize strain on both your back and core muscles.

2. Push, Don't Lift

For lighter snowfalls, pushing snow is often preferable over lifting it. This strategy can provide significant time savings by helping clear away more easily than lifting heavier blankets of white powder.

3. Lighten Your Load

Avoid overloading your shovel by switching out for one with smaller dimensions or filling larger shovels only halfway, each trip taking longer but putting less strain on your body.

4. Avoid Twisting

Resist the urge to throw snow over your shoulder; this puts strain on both your back and core muscles. Instead, push snow in its desired direction or turn yourself as you lift.

5. Put Ergonomics First: Select Appropriate Tools

Selecting the appropriate tools can make all the difference in success. Here's what to keep in mind when making this important decision:

  • Shovel: Look for an ergonomically designed shovel with lightweight handles and blade sizes tailored to your strength, featuring adjustable features or curved blades to reduce stress on your back and body.
  • Snowblower: When purchasing a snowblower, make sure that it fits both your property size and handling capacity comfortably. Before using, read all available instruction manuals thoroughly to familiarize yourself with their safety features and read their instruction manual thoroughly to familiarize yourself with their uses and functions.

6. Understand Your Limits and When Seek Assistance

Do not push yourself beyond your limits! If you suffer from preexisting medical issues like heart conditions or backache, please seek the advice of a physician before engaging in strenuous snow removal activities. In addition, consider seeking assistance if this activity puts too much strain on you.

  • Snowfall has been extraordinarily heavy or wet, 
  • If you experience chest pain, fainting, or unbearable fatigue, consult with a physician immediately. 
  • Shoulder shoveling and snowblower use can also result in temporary discomfort; 

Speaking up about such matters does not equate to weak leadership but should rather demonstrate strong management capabilities.

Prepare Your Property for Winter

One way of clearing snow more effectively and safely could be taking a proactive approach to snow clearing. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Clean Walkways and Driveways Regularly: To prevent heavy loads from becoming harder to manage over time.
  • Salt or De-Ice Walkways: Avoid slip-and-fall accidents by clearing away and clearing away ice patches on walkways that could potentially cause slips or falls by salting or deicing them regularly.
  • Maintain Your Shovel and Snowblower: For optimal use, ensure that both of these tools remain in excellent condition without wear-and-tear or other damage, such as minor cracks.

SummitCover’s Aim: Stay Healthy and Avoid Injuries This Winter

Adhere to these snow removal safety tips from SummitCover, along with snow removal insurance in Canada, so you can remain healthy and avoid injuries during winter's snow challenges. With proper planning, technique, and awareness you can confidently navigate snowdrifts while appreciating winter's splendor - so bundle up safely, enjoy winter fun, and stay safe!

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