Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tips for Safe Snow Cleanup

The forecast is calling for more snow!  Snow can be great for recreational activities such as skiing (downhill and cross country), snow shoeing, sledding and more.  However, it can cause much frustration with walking, clean up and travel.   

Here are some tips for safe snow clean up.


Warm up before shoveling.  Shoveling can be a strenuous activity and just like an athletic event, you should properly warm up.  A simple warm up would be to walk around the house for a couple of minutes before heading outside.  Once you are outside, start by cleaning off your car to help warm up the arms and shoulders.

When possible try and shovel multiple times during a snow storm.   Shoveling 2 inches of snow at a time will be less strenuous than letting the snow build up and doing it all at the end.

Push the snow as you shovel.  This will be easier on your back.  If you do have to lift the snow, bend with your knees, use your legs and do not fill the shovel completely!

Take it slow! Take frequent breaks; do not work to the point of exhaustion.  If you feel tightness in your chest while shoveling, stop immediately.

Dress warmly and pay close attention to extremities.  These are the first areas to develop frost bite (hands and feet, nose and ears).

Clearing your car

Use a brush/ice scraper to remove snow and ice from windshield, side and rear windows, side mirrors, and head lights/tail lights.

Make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow before starting your vehicle.

Also make sure to clear the snow from the roof of your car.  Sliding snow can be dangerous for yourself and other drivers. If you have a taller vehicle such as an SUV or a truck, grab a step stool or invest in a long handle brush.

Don’t force the wipers; you may damage the motor.  If your wipers are stuck to the windshield try pouring some windshield washer/deicer fluid on them.  Do not use hot water to remove ice from your windshield as this could cause your windshield to shatter.

Blog post by Eric Chandler CSCS.

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