Shovelling and snow removal results in thousands of accidents a year. The most common injuries are broken bones from falls, back injuries from improper lifting and heart attacks from over-exertion. Those over the age of 55 are four times more likely to suffer a heart attack while shovelling.
With another Calgary winter already in the works, it’s time to review some important snow removal important tips that will help you avoid accidents while shovelling. Choosing the right clothing, tools, and techniques will make the snow removal job safer and easier.
Bundle Up to Shovel Show
Dressing properly will help keep the elements at bay while you take care of business. In Calgary’s freezing winter climate, layers are the key. Remember to always pay attention to your temperature and avoid sweating, as body heat and cold temperatures aren’t a healthy mix and will make you susceptible to catching a cold, or worse.
The key is to layer your clothing. Multiple thin layers of clothing are far better than a small number of thick layers. Your temperature will rise as you work, since the body tends to burn more calories in cold weather. Layering your clothing helps you stay in control of your comfort, since you can add and remove clothing as needed while you work.
Here’s a breakdown of how to layer your clothes:
- Begin with a light, thin, full-length base layer. Long underwear and long-sleeved undershirts will keep drafts at bay.
- For your first middle layer, choose fabrics like wool or polyester. They are both warm, yet breathable.
- Add a thicker jacket as your first external layer, then supplement with a waterproof, wind-breaking shell.
- Remember to take care of your extremities. Winter hats are essential for preventing heat loss, and mittens are better than gloves for protecting your fingers.
Select the Right Footwear
While you may be tempted to throw on whatever shoes are closest before you head out the door, it’s far better to wear specially designed winter footwear. Winter shoes and boots have unique tread patterns that help you maintain your grip in slippery conditions. They also have superior insulation, helping your feet stay warmer for a longer period of time.
You should also step carefully when you’re outdoors in the snow. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Shovel Selection Tips
Shovels are something most of us take for granted, but they are actually complex and highly varied in their design. Choosing the right shovel for the task at hand will make the job quicker and less laborious.
Aluminum and plastic shovels are lighter, and they’re a better choice if you’re clearing out the aftermath of a lighter dusting of snow. After a heavy snowfall, you’re better-served by using a shovel with a sturdier wooden or fiberglass handle. Choose a wide-mouth design for shoveling your driveway, and opt for shovels with narrower profiles when clearing sidewalks and walkways.
The Importance of Proper Technique
The weight of snow makes it surprisingly easy to injure yourself if you don’t use the right shovelling technique. Muscle injuries and back injuries are common results of improper snow shovelling, and cold conditions can make your body more prone to such problems.
Here’s what you should to do avoid them:
- Keep a lower profile when shovelling snow, and try to concentrate your balance in your body’s central core
- Use your legs, not your back, when lifting a full shovel
- Plant your legs and pivot when emptying a shovelful of snow into a pile; don’t twist your bodyusing your back
- Avoid jerking or extending your arms when emptying your shovel
Also remember to always shovel with the wind, and use it to help you move the snow more efficiently.
Snow Removal Calgary
If you want to avoid the cold and save your labour, you can always count on the snow removal professionals at Mirage Landscaping. Our snow removal crews work around the clock to keep your home or business clear and fully compliant with all Calgary bylaws. As an added benefit, you’ll also deter thieves by having our team remove your snow.
- Prompt services for both residential and commercial properties
- Expert crews with advanced snow removal equipment
- Service for parking lots, driveways, walkways, and ice management
- Sanding services for added vehicle traction on paved surfaces
You’ll be surprised to learn just how affordable our snow removal services are. Get started today by contacting us for a fast, free custom price quote.