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Blizzard 2013- how to shovel snow safely

With all the snow coming down across the East Coasts of Canada and the USA...I thought I'd take a moment to share how to shovel snow safely.

I have in the past...being so short, shovelled snow in a poor technique and hurt my back significantly. It is no fun to be laid up for a week with your back out!

SOURCE: http://www.torontoems.ca/main-site/careers/safety-tips/show-shovelling.html


  • Always try to push snow rather than lifting it.
  • Protect your back by lifting properly and safely:
    • stand with feet at hip width for balance
    • hold the shovel close to your body
    • space hands apart to increase leverage
    • bend from your knees not your back
    • tighten your stomach muscles while lifting
    • avoid twisting while lifting
    • walk to dump snow rather than throwing it
  • When snow is deep, shovel small amounts (1-2 inches at a time) at a time.
  • If the ground is icy or slippery, spread salt, sand or kitty litter to create better foot traction.


  • Shovelling snow is strenuous activity that is very stressful on the heart.
  • Exhaustion makes you more susceptible to frostbite, injury and hypothermia.
  • Stop shovelling and call 911 if you have:
  • discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck
  • unusual or prolonged shortness of breath
  • a dizzy or faint feeling
  • excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting
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