Snow Shoveling Safety RemindersDecember 19, 2017
8 Reminders to Keep Your Crew & Yourself Safe While Shoveling Snow this Winter
Shoveling snow is hard, strenuous and tedious work, especially during a large snow storm. Here are a few shoveling safety reminders to keep your team and you safe while shoveling this winter:
- Wear Proper Clothing:
Layering during the cold months is typical winter weather advice but try wearing breathable layers that are easy to take off if you begin to overheat. Avoid wearing manmade materials, heavy wools or other clothing that does not allow sweat to evaporate (cotton clothing is best). Look at your feet, are you wearing waterproof shoes with good traction? If not, perhaps consider changing them so your feet stay warm and dry as well as preventing you from slipping. NOTE: If you’re shoveling near the road, wear bright colors or a yellow safety jacket (or vest) so oncoming traffic can easily spot your team or you.
- Stretch and Keep a Steady Pace: Whether you realize it or not, shoveling snow is a work out. Just like any other time you work out, you should stretch to warm up your muscles prior to the activity in order to prevent injury and fatigue. Start shoveling slowly; keep a steady pace, especially during a heavy snow storm where you and your team will be shoveling more frequently. You will want to leave yourself with enough energy.
- Stay on Top of Shoveling: No, we’re not saying to literally go outside and stand on the snow, but we are suggesting to stay ahead of a storm, especially during a heavy snow to prevent extreme snow and ice buildup. Try clearing snow every few inches instead of waiting for the storm to end.
- Don’t Use a Shovel That is Too Large: The larger the shovel, the more energy exerted. The excessive effort from pushing and shoveling with a shovel that is too large will tire a person out and put strain on the body.
- Push it! Push it Real Good! Whenever you can, try pushing the snow rather than lifting. If you do need to lift the snow, don’t overload your shovel; do smaller more frequent scoops. When lifting, lift with your legs and knees, not your back. Bend with the knees and lift, focus on your legs doing the work.
- Refuel Your Body with Proper Nutrition: That means water, healthy food, electrolytes, etc. Although coffee, hot coco and greasy food may sound great, you shouldn’t fuel your body with that during a long day of shoveling. While those foods may be delicious they will dehydrate and run down your body, causing fatigue.
- Watch for Traffic: Pay attention to the surroundings, especially when shoveling near the road. Vehicles may not have good traction when there is snow and ice as well as a loss of visibility during a heavy storm.
- Carry your Phone for Emergency: It is important to have a means of contact while out shoveling in case of emergency. Be sure that you are able to hear it as well as have easy access to it.
In the end, by keeping these safety tips in mind, you can feel good knowing that your team and yourself will be safe during the long winter months to come as everyone sets out to remove snow. Be cautious, stay warm and be safe!
If not already instated, Turf Care Supply Corp recommends you consider you and your teams' safety goals before adding these safety tips to your snow removal safety rules. These safety tips are guidelines and suggestions, please abide by any safety rules and regulations already set into place by your company currently. Discuss with company owners/managers for approval prior to trying any of these safety tips.