Heading outside to shovel? Check out these safety tips first

APTOPIX Winter Weather
Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 06:30:39-05

(WXYZ) — Shoveling snow is just part of life here in Michigan. But people don’t realize that thousands of injuries happen every year because of the fluffy white stuff. A 17-year study found as many as 100 deaths can happen yearly from shoveling snow.

Many different types of injuries can take place when shoveling snow. People can end up falling and breaking something. Soft tissue injuries are also common due to your body being strained when shoveling.

Before you pick up a snow shovel today, here are a few shoveling safety tips:

  • Pace yourself and take it slow.
  • Don’t use a super-sized shovel. Smaller ones mean lighter loads which are easier on the body.
  • When you lift, protect your back. Keep the shovel close, bend at the knees, not the waist, and keep the back straight.
  • Try pushing the snow instead of lifting. Or you can use a snowblower.
  • Before shoveling, don’t eat a large meal, smoke, or drink alcohol or caffeine. They can add extra stress on the heart.
  • Take breaks and always pay attention to your body. Don’t think twice about calling 911 if you feel something is wrong.
  • If you have a medical condition, are older, or have been sedentary for quite some time, talk to your doctor first before tackling the snow-covered driveway. It might be time for someone else to handle the shoveling.