Two Minutes: Don’t Break Your Back Shoveling Snow

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Snow Clearing Thunder Bay City Hall
Last night a crew armed with shovels kept the sidewalks at Thunder Bay City Hall clear.

THUNDER BAY – Shoveling snow can be a physically demanding activity that poses risks to one’s health and safety.

Here are some tips on how to safely shovel snow:

  1. Warm-up before shoveling: Just like any other physical activity, it is essential to prepare your body before shoveling snow. You can do a few stretches or light exercises to help loosen up your muscles and prevent injuries.
  2. Dress appropriately: Make sure you wear warm, layered clothing that allows you to move freely. Wear gloves or mittens to protect your hands from the cold, and wear slip-resistant shoes or boots to prevent falls.
  3. Choose the right shovel: Use a shovel with a curved handle and a lightweight blade to minimize the weight of the snow you lift. Additionally, a smaller shovel may be easier to manage than a larger one.
  4. Use proper shoveling technique: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees, not your back, when lifting the snow. Use your legs and arms to lift the snow, and avoid twisting your body when throwing the snow to the side. It is better to move the snow in small loads than to lift a heavy amount of snow all at once.
  5. Take breaks: Shoveling snow is physically demanding, and taking breaks can help prevent exhaustion and injuries. Take a break every 15-20 minutes or when you feel tired or short of breath.
  6. Stay hydrated: Even though it is cold outside, you can still get dehydrated while shoveling snow. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after shoveling to keep yourself hydrated.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings: When shoveling, be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present, such as ice or uneven ground. Take your time and be careful when walking on snow-covered surfaces.
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