Snow removal is a must if you live in Ann Arbor Michigan, and it’s important to do so properly to avoid harming yourself. Though it seems a simple enough task on the surface, injuries related to removing snow are quite common. Here are some tips for doing it safely.

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Know Your Limits

If you have heart problems or other medical conditions that make shoveling snow risky, don’t do it. Use a snow blower or find a friend, neighbor or service who is willing to remove the snow for you. Don’t take on more than you should and risk personal injury.

Stretch It Out

Snow removal provides quite the workout, so prepare for it the same way you would a visit to the gym after a long absence. Stretch well before you begin and do some stretches after as well to provide a cool down period. A few simple stretches can greatly reduce the risk of stiff muscles later.

Bundle Up

Winters are cold in Ann Arbor Michigan, so dress accordingly. Wear layers so you can remove some if you get warm while you work and cover your ears, fingers and toes well. Even natives born and raised in Michigan are susceptible to frostbite when the temperatures drop, so don’t count on your ability to withstand cold weather. Bundle up before you go out and change all of your clothes when you come back in, including your socks and undergarments.

Be Slow and Steady

If you’re shoveling rather than blowing your snow, give yourself time to get the job done rather than rushing. Try to push the snow rather than lift it. If you do need to lift rather than push, use a small shovel and avoid filling it. This will help prevent back injury from lifting and twisting. Remember to lift with your knees when it is necessary to do so.

Respect the Blower

If you’re using a snow blower to clear your property, respect the machine’s power. Always keep your hands, feet and other body parts well away from the spinning blades. Never run the device in an enclosed area to avoid injury from carbon monoxide fumes and don’t drink alcohol before or during machine operation. Turn the snowblower off before refueling.

Roof Removal

If you need to get snow off of your roof, always do so from the ground whenever possible. Don’t stand directly beneath the snow you are trying to remove, however, or it could fall on you. If you absolutely must get on the roof to clear it, wear shoes with grip, use a safety harness and have a spotter. Push the snow directly off the roof rather than piling it one spot for later removal as this could create an area of snow too heavy for the roof.

Snow is a fact of life in Ann Arbor Michigan, and it sometimes needs to be removed. Following these tips will help you do so safely and avoid personal injury while you work. If the task is one you cannot or should not perform for health reasons, call a professional for help rather than risking injury.

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