Tuesday, January 29 2013, 09:33 AM MST
Snow Shoveling Safety Tips From TOSH
(KUTV) Did you know there is a right and wrong way to shovel?
“Over 1000 injuries occur each year due to snow shoveling accidents from the most common being a back injury, which is what we deal with most of the time, to heart problems, hypothermia,” Aaron Swalberg, a TOSH orthopedic specialist, said. “The average snow shovel is about 16 pounds of snow. If you times that over a 10 minute period of time, that can be upwards of 16,000 pounds of snow in 10 minutes.”
With the amounts of snow Utah has been receiving this year, you are likely shoveling for longer.
Even if you are in shape, there are still things you need to think about to prevent a trip to the ER.
1. Dress for the occasion. Put on a hat and gloves. “Most people get out, it is cold, their hands are cold, so they do it fast, leading to higher potential for injury,” Swalberg said.
2. Use your knees. “Squat down and step in the direction you throw the snow. I think I tell my patients ‘keep your toes with your nose,’” Swalberg explained.
3. Don’t shovel towards a sidewalk crack. “If you shovel at an angle it will avoid that catching of the crack,” Swalberg said.
4. Use the proper tools. Angled shovels are good for pushing light snow to the side. Shovels with a wider base and a handle on the end help push the heavier snow. A snow blower is also a great tool.
Another tip from The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital is to put car wax or Pam spray on your shovel to prevent snow from getting stuck on your shovel between scoops.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)