How to Stay Safe While Snow Blowing this Winter

Man removing snow from the sidewalk after snowstorm

The cold temperatures, snow and ice are finally here. We had a fantastic summer, but our attention must now turn toward winter and the always-fun chore of snow removal. Follow the advice set out below to stay safe while shoveling and snow blowing this winter.

Layer Up

You’ll likely work up a sweat while shoveling a foot or more of snow. But chances are you’ll be quite cold until you are halfway through the job. Dress in layers. If you plan on operating a snow blower, do not wear loose fitting outdoor gear. A loose fitting jacket, scarf, pants or other items, can easily get tangled up in the snow thrower’s parts. It is quite possible that you’ll be pulled in toward the machine’s dangerous components along with your gear. So make sure your clothes are fitted.

Protect Your Ears

Be sure to wear a winter hat or earmuffs while removing snow. If you use a snow blower to get rid of the white stuff, be sure to wear earplugs or another means of hearing protection. Snow thrower models powered by gas are especially loud. Anything above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage.

Clear a Path

If you notice the white stuff piling up outside, head on out and take stock of the driveway, porch, sidewalks and other places you’ll have to clean. Look for anything that could trip you up, like kids’ sleds, newspapers, branches, wires and so on. You’ll be able to spot them with ease if you take a gander at your property ahead of the incoming storm. Remove them and you won’t have to worry about your snow blower getting clogged up and enduring costly damage.

Let the Kids Shovel Rather

Every kid who sees his dad operate a snow blower wants to get out there and see how it works. Do not give in and let him take a turn with the snow blower. These are dangerous machines that youngsters and pets should stay far away from. Instead, let him contribute by shoveling at a safe distance.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Always start and operate your snow thrower in the outdoors. It is certainly tempting to start it up in the comparatively warmer garage or other enclosed space. However, doing so puts you and anyone else in the room at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. It is worth noting that opening the shed or garage door will not eliminate that risk.

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