Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

By: The Travelers Indemnity Company

When the driveway and walkways are coated in a thick blanket of snow, it is time to get a shovel out for what some consider to be a dreaded chore. But before you tackle the first snowfall of the season, take some time to read these safety snow shoveling tips to help avoid any potential injuries.

Snow shoveling can lead to a number of health risks for many people, from back injuries to heart attacks. The mix of cold temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart,¹ which may increase the risk of a heart attack for some. According to the American Heart Association, even walking through heavy, wet snow can place strain on your heart.

The following tips can help keep you safer when you set out to shovel:

  • Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
  • Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body. When lifting snow, bend your knees and use your legs when possible.
  • Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
  • Lighten your load. Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
  • Hit the pause button. Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks. Consider taking a break after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
  • Consider multiple trips. Consider shoveling periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to move large amounts of snow at once.
  • Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier. The longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it can become. Wet snow is heavier and harder to move.
  • Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.

A national study² found that the most common shoveling-related injuries were to the lower back. Cardiac-related injuries account for only 7% of all injuries, but they were the most serious in nature. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, are middle-aged or older, or have any health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, you should check with your doctor before doing any strenuous shoveling. Consider using a snow blower or snow removal service as an alternative means of snow removal.

Snow and Ice Removal Requirements

Snow and ice not only pose a potential risk to you but also to others. As a property owner, you are responsible for making a reasonable effort to keep public walking areas around your property clear of snow and ice. Pre-treating your walkways and other paved surfaces with an anti-icing product can help make snow and ice removal easier. (Some Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. clients have opted to have radiant heat installed under their walks and driveways.)  

Consider stocking up on ice melt in advance, as it sometimes sells out during long winters. You can store unused ice melt in an airtight container, out of reach from children and pets. Be aware that rock salt can damage brick, stone, asphalt and concrete walkways.

Be sure to check your local codes and ordinances regarding snow and ice removal requirements.

Sources:
¹ American Heart Association, 
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Shoveling-Snow-Health-Hazards_UCM_426562_Article.jsp
² Nationwide Children’s, 
http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/news-room-articles/new-national-study-finds-11500-emergency-department-visits-nearly-100-deaths-related-to-snow-shoveling-each-year?contentid=86424

 

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We continue our series highlighting questions we have received on our Houzz projects. This week we answer questions on the Rustic French Country Estate.

We Answer Your Questions #6

We continue our series highlighting questions we have received on our Houzz projects. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. is pleased to be part of the Houzz network of professionals. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design; providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality.

Often, Houzzers (members of the app) come to us with questions about our projects. Through answering these questions, we are provided the unique opportunity to educate Houzzers about our projects.  At times, we are not able to provide specific information for privacy reasons, but make every effort to accommodate Houzzers.

This week we answer questions on the Rustic French Country Estate.

We continue our series highlighting questions we have received on our Houzz projects. This week we answer questions on the Rustic French Country Estate.

Houzzer: I love the warm color of the wooden beams. Are they rough sawn cedar? Did you stain them or just seal them? What band did you use to penetrate well enough to get/keep that color on rough sawn wood? It’s beautiful with your door. The home is stunning.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.: Yes, the cedar is rough sawn and the finish applied is a sealer called LifeTime Wood Treatment. It makes the cedar turn gray and looking old. It is a product a lot of log home builders use. As for the process of application; it was completed onsite, so there is no record.

We continue our series highlighting questions we have received on our Houzz projects. This week we answer questions on the Rustic French Country Estate.

 Houzzer: I love this color. Do you know the paint company and the name of the color? Also, how did they get the mottled effect & depth in the stucco? Would this have been in the stucco when applied or a faux paint job afterward? It’s beautiful & just what I’m looking for.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.: It was a custom glaze finish over a standard stucco color. The glaze was created onsite and therefore no record exists.

We continue our series highlighting questions we have received on our Houzz projects. This week we answer questions on the Rustic French Country Estate.

Houzzer: Can you please tell me the source of this roof? Thank you.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.: It is a DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Vineyard blend Slate roofing material.


Martin Brothers Contracting, Inc. has been providing our clients with a true custom home building experience since 1965. As a true custom home builder each home we build is unique. By that, we mean that each home we build is designed to meet the needs of the client, and to fit the site on which it is built. We have never built two homes exactly the same…the homeowner chooses the amenities and look of the home and the home is designed accordingly. We invite you to follow us on Houzz!