With frequent, sometimes daily snowfall during the winter months, snow removal in the Denver area is no joke.
If you’re the owner or manager or a commercial property the task becomes much more complex. Clearing your parking lots, sidewalks and drives is critical to keeping patrons and your property safe through winter storms.
If you’re a smaller business owner or you do decide to tackle a larger property on your own, the safety of yourself or an employee tasked with the removal is just as important as the safety of those you’re clearing it out for. The ‘extreme conditions’ such as low temperatures and high winds which can be present during removal cause extra strain on the body during work, and can make what seems like a simple job more dangerous than you’d suspect.
Keep these safety tips in mind while performing any kind of snow removal to protect yourself and all those involved from injury.
Frostbite and hypothermia are two common occurrences when it comes to snow removal injuries. Make sure to dress for the weather. Wear extra layers to protect your body temperature, right down to doubling up on socks. You can always take the extras off if you get too hot. A warm hat, gloves, and a winter coat should be an obvious choice. Also, waterproof, slip resistant shoes or boots will reduce your risk of slips and falls while keeping your feet warm and dry.
Exercising in this many layers may not be our idea of a good time, but the act of shoveling itself can raise blood pressure and heart rate very quickly in the cold, equal to an intense workout. Take a few minutes before starting to stretch out, helping to avoid cramps and other muscular injuries.
Tips for Shoveling
- Choose an appropriate length shovel for your height; “stooping” over to shovel can lead to lower back, spine, neck, and leg injuries.
- Start shoveling early, even while it’s still snowing if conditions allow, and shovel as often as needed. This will help keep the load lighter while also preventing injury during the storm itself, which you are still responsible for.
- Push the snow as though your shovel was a plow, instead of lifting, whenever possible.
- If you must lift snow, keep your back straight, lift with the legs, and avoid twisting or turning to protect from back and shoulder injuries.
- Lift only as much as you can comfortably without overexerting yourself, even if it isn’t a “full scoop.”
- Never throw snow to the side or over your shoulder, as these twisting motions can lead to back injuries.
- Take a break as needed and stay hydrated.
- Salt the area soon after shoveling to prevent freezing.
Tips for using a Snowblower
- Read the manual provided with your unit for operational directions and safety instructions BEFORE using.
- Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts at all times. If your blower becomes clogged turn the machine off and remove buildup with a solid object other than your hands or feet, being careful not to damage any of the parts.
- Never leave the snowblower unattended while running.
- If using a fuel-powered unit; always shut the blower off before refueling.
- If using an electrical unit; keep track of where the power cord is at all times and keep it away from the moving parts of the machinery.
- Salt the area soon after snowblowing to prevent freezing.
Self-plowing of roadways or walkways with a vehicle-mounted plow is never recommended, due to the risk of injury to the individual as well as damage to property. It is important to use a trained professional snow plowing service to prevent damage to the property or personel.
The workload can be too much for an individual or a small team to handle safely. At Snow Management Services, our ASCA certified experts will help to assess your property and create a personalized winter plan to keep your business safe and sound through the harsh Colorado winter. Contact us today!