As winter weather intensifies, you could find yourself working through snow and ice. Check out the tips below, to ensure that you are prepared. 

Prevent Hypothermia and Other Injuries

  • Dress in multiple layers
  • Keep your head and ears covered as most body heat escapes through the head
  • Wear gloves/mittens and insulated socks -- mittens allow your fingers to touch, generating more body heat, keeping your hands warmer
  • Wear a high visibility coat when working around roadways or other areas with vehicular traffic to ensure that others can see your during snowy weather when visibility is reduced

Preventing Slips,Trips and Falls

  • Keep walkways, stairways and other work areas clear of snow and ice to the extent possible
  • Mark or barricade off especially hazardous areas using signs and/or physical barriers
  • Make sure that your footwear has good traction
  • Avoid walkways covered in ice by using cleared/bare pavement surfaces or grassy areas
  • Walk with short, shuffling steps when you must walk on icy/potentially icy surfaces
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads, be alert and have your hands ready to steady yourself if you slip and lose your balance
  • Pay attention for patches of black ice, as they are more difficult to see 

Preventing Overexertion During Snow Removal

  • Do not shovel immediately after eating or while smoking
  • Take it slow -- warm-up to get your blood flowing and be sure to stretch before shoveling
  • Use an ergonomically designed snow shovel with a curved/bent handle to reduce back bending
  • Push the snow rather than life, whenever possible
  • Use a smaller shovel or only partially fill the shovel to avoid straining your muscles
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Pivot your body rather than twisting your back when removing snow from the shovel 
  • Take periodic breaks and do not work to the point of exhaustion
  • If you have a history of heart disease, check with your doctor before shoveling to ensure that it is safe for you to do 

Snow Blower Safety

  • Do not remove, tamper with or bypass any guarding
  • Add fuel outdoors, before starting -- and never add fuel when the snow blower is running
  • To avoid carbon monoxide exposure, do not run a snow blower in an enclosed area like a garage
  • If the snow blower jams, turn it off and use a long push stick to clear wet snow and/or debris to avoid lacerations and/or amputations (The blades on a snow blower can move when unjammed, even when the blower is off.)