Winter is just around the corner, and with winter comes snow. Each year, local emergency rooms see an increase in patients who are injured as a result of shoveling snow. Shoveling and plowing are necessary tasks, but they are also a serious physical activity that requires planning and caution. The following tips will help you safely and efficiently clear snow from your property.
Shovel Snow Like a Pro
If you’re just working with a shovel, you’ll need to take some precautions. Start by stretching your muscles before you go outside. This will help warm you up (which will help once you step outside into the frigid air), and more importantly, reduce your risk of injuries.
Since shoveling can take some time, make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the weather. It’s always a good idea to wear layers. Put on a thermal shirt, a pullover and a jacket, then wrap everything up with a nice scarf, hat and gloves. You might want to invest in a nice pair of weatherproof pants, as well, so that you don’t have to worry about flying snow getting you wet.
Lastly, keep in mind that continuous shoveling can be extremely hazardous, especially for the elderly or those who aren’t in good physical health. Take a break every 30-minutes or so. This is the perfect time to step inside and warm up a bit and rehydrate.
Consider Investing in a Snow Blower
The easiest way to remove wet, heavy snow is with a snow blower. If you have a large driveway or expect frequent and/or large snowfalls, it might be time to trade that shovel in for a snow blower. However, it is important to ensure the snow blower is in good condition before the season starts. Make sure all shields are properly in place and remember to keep your feet and hands away from all moving parts. Always point the chute away from your house and vehicles to prevent damage in case the snow blower picks up a rock or other debris.
Other Helpful Tips
Slippery driveways and walkways can be extremely dangerous, so after plowing and shoveling, throw some rock salt down. This will help to melt the ice that may have been hiding under the snow. Also, to prevent damage to your equipment as well as reduce the risk of an injury, make sure to remove all items from the areas where you will be removing snow. This could be everything from kids toys to larger debris that might have landed in your yard.
Contact Ralph Helm Inc. Lawn Equipment Center for more information on our snow blowers or to schedule a service appointment to ensure your snow blower is in top condition.