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Tips for safe snow removal

Article Published 01/30/2014

The winter storms in Utah can  provide significant snow fall and 
sometimes the snow is wet and  heavy. Common injuries associated with snow removal are
slips and falls, heavy lifting back  injuries, finger and arm injuries. 
Here  are a few safety tips during snow removal. 
Snow Shoveling:
This is a  strenuous workout. Every winter people hurt themselves shoveling 
snow, ranging from minor aches  and pulled muscles to fatal heart attacks. Back injuries are among 
the most common injury resulting from snow shoveling. Stretching first is always good. If possible, wait until later in the day so your body tissues  are warmed up and loose. 
 • History of heart trouble? Consult  with your doctor before heavy shoveling.
 • Dress in several layers.
 • Warm up those muscles. 
 • Pick the right shovel .
 • Begin slowly, pace yourself .
 • Lift correctly. Stand with feet hip  width apart for balance and keep 
shovel close to body. Bend knees, not back, and tighten stomach  muscles as you lift snow. 
 • Scoop in a forward motion, step in the  direction you throw the snow. 
 Snow Blowing:
Each year, hundreds suffer from maiming or amputations of their fingers or 
hands due to the improper handling of snow blowers. Average age of a person with this type of 
injury is 44 years and is usually male. Snow blowers are safe when used properly. 
 REMEMBER – If your snow blower jams: 
 • Turn engine off. 
 • Disengage clutch. 
 • Wait for impeller blades to stop rotating. 
 • ALWAYS use a stick or a broom handles to clear impacted snow. 
 • NEVER put your hand down the chute or around the blades. 
 • Keep all shields in place. DO NOT REMOVE safety devices.