While shoveling snow may feel like just another seasonal chore like mowing the grass or raking leaves, moving heavy snow by hand can pose a serious risk to your health and safety. Each year, snow shoveling sends nearly 11,500 people to the emergency room and even causes deaths.
How is Shoveling More Dangerous than Other Chores?
If you’re not a very active person, moving hundreds of pounds of snow can cause a significant strain on your body and your heart. If you load your shovel with approximately 15 pounds of snow, 15 times a minute, you’ll ultimately have moved over 2,000 pounds of snow in just 10 minutes! Now, add cold weather that causes more strain on your body, and extra layers to protect against the cold, and you’re setting yourself up for a potentially serious injury if precautions aren’t taken.
The most common injuries associated with snow shoveling include muscle strains and sprains, particularly in the back and shoulders. But heart attacks can also occur while shoveling, especially in older adults. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council to keep yourself safe while shoveling, no matter your age.
Seven Tips to Shovel Safely:
- Do not smoke or eat before shoveling.
- Take it slow and stretch before you begin.
- Shovel only fresh, powdery snow -- it's lighter.
- Push the snow rather than lifting it.
- Use a small shovel or partially fill the shovel if lifting snow.
- Lift with your legs, not your back.
- Do not work to the point of exhaustion.
Please keep these tips in mind throughout winter and stay safe if you must shovel snow. In the event that a landlord is responsible for snow removal from your residence, and you are injured from a fall or while shoveling, you may be able to recover damages from a property owner. For information about who is responsible for the removal of snow and ice from properties, click here.If you have any other winter weather-related injury questions, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.