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Don't slip a disk or anywhere else

It is a chore most of us dread … shoveling the walk and driveway. While it is quite a simple task, it is important to remember that it puts a great deal of stress on the shoulders and back. If too much weight is lifted or shoveling is done incorrectly, severe physical damage can be done.

In 2018, more than 137,000 people were treated in emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics for injuries that happened while using snowblowers or shoveling, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

While it may not be the most desirable chore to do, keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice is a vital part of winter safety. Slip-and-fall accidents are more common during the winter months then any other time of the year. Adequate snow removal helps prevent these accidents.

At Hupy and Abraham, S.C., we want to see you all enjoy the winter wonderland in our beautiful state. Here are some shoveling safety tips and winter fall prevention advice to keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy this season.

Shoveling Safely Tips:

  1. Do not smoke or eat a heavy meal immediately before shoveling. This increases the risk of a heart attack.
  2. Push the snow, instead of lifting it. This technique decreases the chances of losing your balance or straining muscles.
  3. Do not lift too much at one time, if you must lift it. If you load your shovel with approximately 15 pounds of snow, 15 times a minute, you’ll ultimately have moved over 2,000 pounds of snow in just 10 minutes! Lifting smaller loads may take a it longer, but your body will thank you in the end.
  4. Lift with your knees, not your back.
  5. Take the time to stretch and loosen up your muscles before heading out into the elements to shovel, just as you do before exercising.
  6. Dress appropriately in layers for warmth and wear clothing that allows for your knees to properly bend.
  7. Rest when you need to, and do not work yourself to the point of exhaustion.

Winter Fall Prevention Tips:

  1. Be careful when entering/exiting vehicles.
  2. Remain cautious and allow for extra time.
  3. Use handrails when available.
  4. Wear flat footwear with treads and good traction.
  5. Avoid carrying lots of items at one time.
  6. Clear your walks.
  7. Use nonslip floor mats.
  8. Keep walkways and driveways clear and salted.
  9. Put lights on your stairs and sidewalks.
  10. Stay alert.
  11. Walk slowly and deliberately.
  12. Carry kitty litter or sand in a bag to sprinkle on unsafe surfaces.

Please keep these tips in mind throughout winter and stay safe if you must shovel snow. In the event that a landlord is responsible for snow removal from your residence, and you are injured from a fall or while shoveling, you may be able to recover damages from a property owner. For information about who is responsible for the removal of snow and ice from properties, click here.

If you have any other winter weather-related injury questions, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.

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