The best defense we have to maintain a snow and ice-free workplace is managing our time wisely and using our resources early and often to prevent hazardous work environments. Planning on employees coming in early to remove snow from common areas and walkways, providing shovels and salt at the work locations for easy access, and providing ample time to the crews to remove snow and ice from their work location. But snow and ice are not just a workplace hazard, they are hazardous to any location we are at, including our homes.
Each year in the US, an estimated 11,000 individuals are taken to the hospital for issues related to snow shoveling incidents. Roughly 10% of these are cardiac-related injuries such as a heart attack. That is bone-chilling amount of incidents related to such a specific task. The good news is, these kinds of injuries can be avoided. Taking your time to prepare and complete these tasks is so important. Most of us have routine that our bodies are used to and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, unexpectedly, is not part of that routine. Common snow shoveling tips include:
It is also important when shoveling to not only protect yourself but also protect your home. Remember to remove snow from air intakes and vents around the outside of your home. This allows for safe air movement through your home which can help prevent Carbon Monoxide from building up. Carbon Monoxide can be produced by the combustion that occurs from fossil fuel burning appliances like a furnace, clothes dryer, range, oven, water heater, or space heater. When appliances and vents work properly, and there is enough fresh air in your home to prevent CO build-up and safely vent outside your home, Carbon Monoxide detection devices are important life-saving devices in your home and should be checked routinely for operation and battery back up life and replaced every 5 to 7 years.
Don’t let the snow stop you from bringing safety home!