Snow Shoveling Safety

Posted by Matt Bushey in #YHSafetyTips, Jan 10, 2018

Shoveling snow requires preparation and the proper tools to ensure you do not injure yourself. Before any storm comes your way, you need to buy the following items:

    Warm clothes for winter, these include:
  • Warm coat or multiple light layers
  • Water-resistant winter pants
  • Snow boots
  • Water-resistant gloves
  • Winter beanie or hat to cover head and ears

    Tools:
  • Snow shovel(s) (explained below)
  • Rock salt - at least one bag

First, when picking out a shovel, you want to decide on the method you want to use. One method is shoveling during the snow storm after a couple of inches have fallen. Another method is to wait until the snow has stopped. With the first method, you will want a shovel that can be pushed easy and has no metal edge, so that it will not tear up your driveway or walk. Consider the image below for choosing that type.


For the last method, waiting until all the snow has fallen, you will want to choose a shovel that has a deeper well to scoop more snow. Keep in mind, more snow means that it will be heavier, which could hurt backs, knees and cause unwanted pain. Consider the image below for choosing this type of shovel.


Method for shoveling a couple of inches or less of snow:

Use a pusher type of snow shovel that is made of plastic. Start at the back in the middle of the driveway. Place the shovel into the snow to the ground and push all the way to the front.

Remember to stay off of the snow to keep it from compacting into harder, heavier snow.

Push the snow off each side, piling away from any structures. That way when the snow melts, it does not melt into basements and cause water damage.


Method for shoveling more than a couple of inches of snow:

Before using this method, make sure you are physically conditioned to handle lifting this much snow. Use a scoop style of shovel. Start in the middle, but this time only scoop off the top part of the snow and drop it off to the side, off of the driveway area if possible. Keep scooping up and tossing the snow until you get to the bottom.

Take your time with this method. You can injure yourself if you lift too much at once. Drink water and maintain proper layers, taking off a layer at a time, to not overheat.

Remember to stay off of the snow to keep it from compacting into harder, heavier snow.

Once you get to the front of the driveway, start working on the sides of the driveway, clearing the snow away from structures. That way when the snow melts, it does not melt into basements and cause water damage.

Consider using an ergonomic shovel that can be used for both light and heavier snow.


After clearing the snow

After the snow has been cleared and you are down to the bottom, you may have some other problems depending on the type of storm you had. Ice or some other build up could be on your driveway. Use rock salt to melt any ice, but keep it off of plants and grass as it may kill or stunt growth.

If you missed last week's blog post on Top 2017 #YHSafetyTips, click here.

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