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Snow Removal Safety Tips

safety-tips-shoveling-snowAs the snow continues to fall across central Indiana, we have been keeping busy rescheduling all non emergency calls and responding to the calls for those without heat. For those of you who are at home, it is important to be safe and protect yourself while you are clearing the snow from your driveways and sidewalks.

Here are a few tips for staying safe and avoiding injury while removing snow at your home:

  • Shoveling snow is an intense exercise that raises both your blood pressure and heart rate. Just like with any exercise routine, it’s important to do some light stretching to warm up your muscles before you start shoveling and be sure to take frequent breaks while you work. If you are over 40 or have any history of heart problems, it is best to consult a doctor before shoveling.
  • While you want to stay warm, it’s important not to overdress or you will be overheated in no time. Choose loose-fitting layers that you can peel off as you heat up.
  • Some of the areas around Indianapolis received some ice, along with the snow. Avoid shoveling heavy, packed snow. Shoveling every few hours will prevent a build-up and will lighten your load.
  • Try to push the snow, rather than lifting it, and be sure not to throw the snow over your shoulder or sideways, which can cause a back injury. Using your shoulder muscles and maintaining proper posture can help you avoid an injury.

If you are using a snowblower:

  • Make sure to read the instruction manual before you use the snowblowing equipment.
  • If the snowblower becomes clogged, never stick your hand into a snowblower chute. Instead, shut the engine off and dislodge any blockages with a solid object.
  • Be aware of where the power cord is when operating a snowblower.
  • Never leave the snowblower unattended while it is running and always shut the engine off when refueling.