Here in Indiana, we’re no strangers to snow. Every winter, we’re treated to a healthy dose of pain and consternation from buried cars and treacherous sidewalks. We hear it builds character.
Removing the snow around your home isn’t just an inconvenience, though. A few hours of diligent shoveling can lead to serious personal injury if you’re not careful. Exposure to the elements, dehydration, back injuries, and even cardiac problems are all fairly common ailments that can result from shoveling snow.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 28,000 people were treated in hospitals in 2013 for injuries resulting from manual snow and ice removal. Another 6,000 were injured while operating snow blowers. In this entry, we’d like to share a few pointers to help keep our readers safe this season.
Don’t Wait to Shovel
Shoveling during a snowfall can be a real uphill battle. It’s easy to think we’d be better off waiting until the storm’s over to start shoveling. But by shoveling early and often, we can keep our driveways and sidewalks clear without having to lift twenty pound shovel loads of densely packed snow. Waiting to shovel until all the snow has fallen can put your back at risk for serious injury.
Have the Right Tools
A traditional flat bladed snow shovel is ideal for plowing large quantities of snow, but it’s not so great for lifting and heaving. An aluminum coal shovel, with high sides and a smaller capacity, might be better suited for effortlessly tossing snow over your shoulder.
Layer up, and keep your body dry. Avoid cotton at all costs, especially on exterior layers. Hats and gloves are essential accessories if you’re going to be outside for more than a few minutes. Exposure is a very real risk, and not one we want to fool with.
Preempt with Deicers
Before the snow starts to accumulate heavily, hit your driveway with a layer of rock salt. Unfortunately, waiting to salt until snow has fallen will drastically decrease its usefulness. If you’re uneasy about using rock salt due to environmental concerns, you might try alternative de-icing products such as calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).
Before we know it, snow season will be behind us and we’ll be able to retire our shovels and blowers for another year. Already prepping for your next spring project? Give us a call today to get the right tools for the job at a fraction of the purchase price.