How to Stay Safe When Shoveling Snow from Your Property

How to Stay Safe When Shoveling Snow from Your PropertyThe holidays have come and gone and we’ve stepped into yet another new year. For certain parts of the country, this means plenty of snowy weather and chilly days ahead. But for homeowners, this means a daily chore of clearing snow and ice from around their property.

This essential activity may seem like a regular task to undertake, but it has the potential to lead to some major injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, nearly 17,000 people visit the emergency room every year due to shoveling snow. Some have even died due to the activity. From blisters to heart attacks to severe bouts of dizziness, the injuries and health risks can be avoided by using a handful of helpful tips.

Insure Your Home, Insure Yourself

It’s important to make sure you shovel and salt your sidewalk to prevent any passersby from slipping and falling, and to prevent you from slipping and falling into a lawsuit. Depending on the situation, you could be held liable if someone injures themselves due to slipping and falling as a result of snow and/or ice positioned in front of your home.

A homeowners insurance policy will help to protect you and your home from a situation like this. Local ordinances may create certain duties on property owners to shovel and treat icy conditions. Failure to comply with these laws can end up in major injuries for someone passing by and major liability cases for you.

Dress Appropriately

It may be tempting to just want to run outside quickly, shovel a quick and small path, and run back inside without wearing what you need to. Always dress in layers when you go outside to take care of the snow and ice. If you get too warm, you can always take layers off. Socks, head covering, a scarf, and gloves should be minimal.

Choose the Right Shovel

When using a snow shovel, be sure the shovel is the right size for you. Make sure the handle on the shovel is the right length for your height as well. Using one that is too short means that you’ll have to lean forward more during shoveling, which ups the risk of a back injury.

Use Proper Form

How you hold your body as you shovel is essential to your overall health. When shoveling, make sure to keep your back straight while bending your knees and squatting down with legs spread apart for a good foundation. Keep away from throwing shovels of snow over your shoulder or side. Instead, take the time to carry them to the place where you want to dump it. This will help to alleviate any issues related to twisting.

Deep Snow

Keep snow clear often as doing this will greatly cut down on the accumulation of heavy and packed snow. Instead of lifting the snow, push it as much as you can. If you have to lift the snow, do not strain the shovel and if the snow is deep enough, take your time and remove it in layers.

Don’t Overdo It

Always be extra careful when it comes to overexertion. Pace yourself and take as many breaks as you can, especially for bigger jobs. If shoveling is projected to take a good deal of time, don’t be afraid to go back inside, warm up, and take a break. Taking five to ten minutes to relax will give your body some time to rest.

Keep An Eye on Slippery Areas

Watch for slippery areas as well as patches of ice and areas that seem uneven. After the driveway or walkway is cleared, sprinkle some salt on it, which will come in handy if the forecast calls for more snow or freezing rain as it will help melt the ice and lower the risk of slipping.

About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

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