Work Smart. Work Safe.
Keep your "Heads Up" and work safe!

Working in a Winter Wonderland

By: Christopher Vervoorst

It’s here! Winter has unleashed its full fury upon us, and with it comes everyone’s favourite activity…snow shoveling.

Since shoveling can be a hassle for work sites, it often falls to the young workers to take care of it. That’s why I thought we should talk about snow shoveling safety.

Before you head out make sure you:

1. Grab gloves and a toque. If it’s really cold, maybe even a neck warmer or scarf. You need to be prepared for the weather conditions, since there’s nothing worse than coming in and realizing you have frostbite on your ears/nose/hands.

2. Stretch. Shoveling is a workout, and like every workout you should stretch before you head out and after you get in. Stretching will warm up your muscles and keep them from getting cramped or strained.

So you’re warm, stretched and ready to go. What now?

It’s time to head out into the cold and take care of that snow. But while you’re out there make sure you:

1. Push the snow as much as you can. Pushing puts far less strain on your back than lifting. Ask Me. It’s true!

2. NEVER EVER throw snow over your shoulder! What you should do is squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Always throw the load in front of you. Also make sure your hands are apart, as this increases your leverage when lifting.

3. Take regular breaks. When it’s -30 degrees Celsius or lower, you’ll want to break every 7-10 min. Use this time to get some hot chocolate (marshmallows optional). If you’re doing a lot of shoveling, you may also want to do some quick stretches to keep your muscles nice and limber.

Finally, the best piece of advice I can give you is to go out and get a snow blower. It makes life so much easier.

Well, I’m heading back outside to shovel for the third time today, so until next week keep your head up and your body warm.

One Response to “Working in a Winter Wonderland”

  1. Marshmallows are only optional? I call mandatory!

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