Safety Center

Removing Snow Safely

At some point this winter, you know snow is coming and you'll be faced with removing it from your sidewalk and driveway. Here are 10 tips to better protect you from injury and health risks.

General tips:

  • Health alert: If you have a medical condition, ask a neighbor to help, or hire someone to remove the snow for you.

  • Warm up: Before you go outside, do light stretching exercises to prevent strains and sprains.

  • Dress warm: Wear light, layered water-resistant clothing and appropriate gloves, headgear, and socks with slip-resistant boots.

  • Get a jump: Start before the snow becomes too deep, making it more difficult to shovel or blow.

If you're shoveling:

  • Push, don't lift: If possible, push the snow with your shovel. If you do have to lift, squat with your knees bent and back straight before throwing the snow.

  • Less is better: Lift smaller amounts to lighten the load.

  • Pace yourself: Take frequent breaks so you aren't overexerted and drink fluids to stay hydrated. If you feel chest pain, or experience shortness of breath, stop and seek immediate medical care.

If you're blowing snow:

  • Hands off: Never stick your hand in a snow blower. If it becomes jammed with snow, turn off the machine, wait five seconds, and use a clean-out tool to safely clear the snow from the chute and/or blades.

  • Gas up: Add fuel before you start the snow blower and do it outside to avoid fumes indoors. Don't try adding gas while the blower is hot or running.

  • Watch out: Never leave the snow blower running and unattended. If you need to go inside, turn off the blower.

NJM Insurance Group's Commitment to Safety

NJM's enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home. NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers' compensation insurance.

References:

  1. National Automotive Roads & Fuel Association Shoveling Safety & Snow Blower Safety www.narfa.com
  2. National Safety Council Why do People Die Shoveling Snow? www.nsc.org

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance for your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.