Updated: Dec 17, 2018
Every winter, thousands of people across the nation injure themselves shoveling snow. Associated with various health hazards including bad backs, broken bones, head injuries, and even deadly heart problems, snow removal can be a daunting task; however, using these best practices, you can alleviate hassle, save time, and reduce the risk of injury this winter.
Before you brave the storm, be sure to don apparel appropriate for the job at hand, i.e. footwear, gloves, clothing, and safety protection (if necessary). Even when you’re not running machinery, slipping and exposure pose serious threats depending on your property’s location, so it’s best to be prepared.
If snowfall is minimal, you may be able to shovel your walkways and driveway without over-exerting yourself; however, if heavier snowfall is expected and you don’t own a snowblower, shovel after every few inches that fall to reduce strain on your body.
Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
Protect your back by bending your knees and avoiding excessive twisting motions.
Avoid standing in areas where snow or ice could fall from building roofs or trees.
Using a snowblower
When snow is wet and heavy, your best bet is to use a snowblower if possible.
Operating a snowblower can be dangerous and physically demanding, so make sure you are up to the task prior to attempting this yourself.
Keep all protective shields in place and keep your hands and feet away from all moving parts. Never clean the auger with your hands.
Inspect sidewalks and parking areas for rocks or other objects that could cause injury or damage if picked up by the snowblower.
For parking areas with clearance on both sides, start by clearing down the center, throwing snow toward one edge of the area. Then, make a U-turn and come back down the other side. Continue alternating. This way you won’t have to adjust the chute as often and any snow that falls short will be cleared on subsequent passes. If a structure abuts the parking area, start on the side closest to the building to prevent the placement of snow onto pavement you’ve already cleared.
Take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion.
When sidewalks and parking areas are icy, coat them with rock salt.
Before each storm, pretreat walkways and parking areas with rock salt to reduce ice accumulation.
Dealing with larger jobs
For larger residential and commercial properties, it’s generally best to leave snow management to the professionals. Not only will you spend less time and exert less energy on snow removal, you’ll gain valuable peace of mind knowing your property’s snow management needs are taken care of.
Whether you have one property or an entire portfolio, our SIMA-certified snow management team is up to the task. For more information or a free consultation, contact us today.