In the past, this website has offered advice on shoveling snow and salting sidewalks, but considering that an average of 11,000 people injure themselves shoveling snow every year, we thought it would be good to post a few more tips on how to stay safe after a snowfall. The following is some information about the dangers of shoveling and de-icing snow, and how to avoid them:
De-icing Your Sidewalk
Rock salt is perhaps the best tool for de-icing a sidewalk. Use of rock salt can speed up the melting process. But it is important to remember that rock salt can damage sidewalks and plant life. So, when the salt has done its job, clean up what’s left.
Something many people don’t consider is that pouring water on ice can be a big help. The key is to use hot or warm water. The hot water will at least partially thaw the ice, at which point you should throw on the rock salt. This combination will create a brine on the sidewalk, helping to expedite the melting process.
Shoveling Your Sidewalk
Some people will lift every shovelful of snow and toss it to the side. This practice can be bad on one’s back, possibly resulting in serious pain. As a rule of thumb, you should try to push the snow—rather than lifting it—as often as you can.
Remember that shoveling snow can be stressful for your body. Just because it is cold does not mean you can’t dehydrate yourself or put great strain on your heart. Many people experience a cardiac event while shoveling snow because they pushed themselves too hard. Take breaks, drink fluids, seek warmth.
For even more information on how to shovel snow and de-ice sidewalks, please go here. Also, check out our articles on black ice, winter driving safety, and clearing snow from your car. We at Carpey Law do our best to keep you informed regarding the dangers of winter weather.