How to Stay Safe While Clearing Snow
Using a snow blower or snow plow can be the perfect way to give your back a break from shoveling snow. However, it is important to take the proper safety precautions to avoid unnecessary injury while clearing snow this winter.
There are some important precautions to take before you begin:
- Read the operator’s manual that came with your equipment before the start of each winter.
- Look for items hidden in the snow that you would not want to hit or run over.
- Make sure other family members, especially children, are clear of the area before you begin.
When Using a Snow Blower:
- Be aware of where you are aiming the shoot.
- Never blow snow toward people or cars.
- Do not override automatic shutoff features.
- Operate the blower at a speed no faster than a walk.
- Never reach into the blower shoot with your hands for any reason, even if the machine is off.
When Using a Snow Plow:
- When beginning a pass, always start moving and then drop the plow blade.
- Begin to stop as you approach the end of your pass.
- Raise the plow blade before moving into position to make another pass.
- Always turn around and look while driving in reverse.
Dressing properly not only keeps you warm, it also keeps you safe. Wear boots that will give you adequate traction while walking behind your snow blower and gloves that allow you to firmly grip the controls. Also, avoid long scarves that could become stuck in moving parts. Even if you’re in a plow, it’s good to be dressed for those times when you need to leave the warmth of the driver’s seat.