Upstate New York is a great place to live and work. The change of seasons right here in the H&V Collision Center service area provides a great and often beautiful backdrop to our busy lives. Unfortunately, living in upstate also means shoveling all that unwanted snow after a whiteout. Shoveling can also lead to health and even safety issues.
H&V wants you to stay safe. There are many different ways to shovel snow which are effective and safe. Here are a few tips from us at H&V Collision Center, along with the folks at the Safety Smart blog and Erie Insurance:
- Know when to ask for help. If you don’t regularly exercise, are over the age of 55 or have a heart-related health issue, it’s best to ask for help or contract a snow removal service.
- Push the snow rather than lifting it. If you must throw it, take only as much snow as you can easily lift. And remember, the wetter the snow, the heavier it is. Consider using a snow scoop to push the snow. The scoop helps you to move snow with less effort by riding up over the snow to allow you to move it without ever having to lift it.
- Wear sturdy boots with good treads. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry and help you avoid slipping.
- Use salt to minimize ice that can form from packed snow still on the ground when you’re done shoveling. This will reduce the chance of slips and falls.
- Make sure kids know how to shovel correctly. Teach them not to use shovels as toys—most injuries children get from snow shoveling result from getting hit on the head by accident.
- Invest in a snow blower and learn how to use it safely. But know that pushing a snow blower in the cold carries risk, too.
- Use a lightweight shovel with a bent or curved handle. Less bending down to scoop=less back aches.
- As with any physically demanding exercise, consult with your doctor to ensure you’re fit enough to do it. Before you begin shoveling, do warm-up stretches and flexing exercises to loosen up the muscles and prepare them for the job ahead.
- Keep yourself warm. Wear warm, layered clothing and try to shovel when the day’s temperature is at its highest. But don’t bundle up so much that you overheat. Aim for just right and take a break to adjust as you need to while you work.
- Know when to stop. If you feel light headed, dizzy or tightness in your chest, stop shoveling, rest and ask for help finishing the chore.
- Always watch out for passing snow plows and check the street before crossing.