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Five Tips For Safe Snow Removal

February 8th 2020

In many North American cities snow, is part of the winter landscape. Snow removal is a normal past time in many cities, states, provinces, and territories. Whether you live in a home in Boston MA or Ottawa ON, chances are you have some form of snow removal equipment on hand. However, before you lay hand to any shovel, snow plow, snow blower, you need to consider a few matters.

Basic Safety Tips for Removing Snow

When it comes to ice and snow removal, people seem to ignore some of the practicalities. They tackle it head-on without due consideration to the various factors that can and do affect their ability to perform such tasks easily and efficiently. Below are five basic tips on how to clear the snow from your driveway, walkways, and sidewalk safely.

1. Contact your doctor: If you plan to shovel or even operate a snow blower, do check with your doctor first. Too often, people simply decide to clear their driveway or sidewalks without considering the potential risk to their health. Your medical professional knows whether you are at a high risk of suffering an injury or health incident while vigorously attacking the snow blanketing your residence. A large study published in the 2011 American Journal of Emergency Medicine indicated that over a 17-year period, the number of Americans hurt as a result of shoveling was in the thousands annually. A 2017 paper published in the Canadian Medical Journal in 2017, found similar results in their 30-year study. More recently (2018), the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, cited that some 137,000 people received treatment in a variety of medical facilities for injuries resulting from either shoveling or using a snow blower.

Overall the evidence supports the anecdotal belief that snow removal and heart attacks are intimately related. If you have what is termed a “weak” heart, both using a shovel or a snow blower can place extra stress on it. The results can be more than injurious; they can be fatal.

2. Choose the Right Equipment: Always consider what equipment is best suited for the job. Remember, they all, from shovels to garden tractors or ATVs with plows, have certain restrictions on what they can do.

3. Dress Appropriately: If you plan to remove snow or ice, make sure you are dressed for the elements. Do not dash outside in indoor clothing and a light jacket, assuming it will only take a minute or two. Do layer your clothing, making sure you have gloves and a hat on. The clothing should be, whenever possible, water-repellant.  Do wear warm socks and place them within comfortable boots that are slip-resistant.

4.  Timing: Do not wait until several snowfalls have happened. Sure, it may be below the amount the city you live in makes snow removal obligatory. However, if you clear your sidewalks on an ongoing basis during the winter, you end up having to spend less time struggling when the snow piles up and becomes heavy and more difficult to not only shovel but plow away.

5. See Clearly: Even though you are bundled up, do make sure you can see clearly. Wear a hat and a scarf, but make sure you can see both straight ahead and peripherally. This allows you to work safely. You can see the path in front and the area around you. You can see where the snow blower is throwing the snow. You can see if any snow plow is on the road or coming down your sidewalk.

Keeping Snow Removal Safe: Reducing the Risk

It really does not matter what type of equipment you use to move the snow and remove the ice. Deicers and a shovel or ice melt and a skid steer plow, it can take a toll physically. If you do not want to take the risk, or do not have the time, energy, and wherewithal to address snow and ice removal, why not hire a professional to do so? Obtain a third-party service such as Edenapp from Apple, Android, or edenapp.com and use it to find the best snow removal services possible. By choosing a professional, you can relieve yourself of all anxiety and any physical strain that could result from any and all snow removal tasks.