Yes, there’s a certain testosterone-fueled pride in schlepping into the freshly fallen New York and Connecticut snow (everyone knows East Coast snow is tougher) decked out in your Carhartts and showing winter who’s boss with your shovel.
But besides the wounds to your pride when that winter precipitation on the ground is too heavy or simply too much for one person to handle — and actually, there’s no shame in that — did you know it’s also pretty dangerous to tackle ice and snow removal on your own? And the last thing you want to do is put yourself or your employees at risk, right?
There are several health risks that come with manual snow removal. Here are a few to think about as winter slowly heads our way.
DIY snow & ice removal risk #1: exhaustion
Even if you’re in great shape, manual ice and snow removal can be seriously taxing on an ordinary person’s body. Shoveling for a half-hour even at home in your driveway is the equivalent of spending a half-hour lifting weights at the gym. And if you’re not prepared for that kind of exertion, you might be paying for it later.
DIY snow & ice removal risk #2: slips and falls
Snow and ice are slippery. Enough said.
DIY snow & ice removal risk #3: back problems
Yes, shoveling snow can cause a slipped disk! And a whole bunch of other problems. It can happen to anyone even with perfect form, but there is a right and wrong way to shovel.
The right way: feet wide apart, using foot to push down on the shovel with all your weight. Lift with the arms and legs, not the back. Turn feet and move the entire body in the direction of where the snow is going. Don’t twist the back.
Putting your back into it is one of the most common rookie mistakes, and you could end up paying big with sore muscles, slipped disks, and more.
DIY snow & ice removal risk #4: heart attack
In the past few years, we’ve all heard about the phenomenon of “heart attack snow.” It’s that heavy, wet snow that looks beautiful but can be treacherous to manage alone.
But any snow can pose heart risks. That’s because in addition to the elevated heart rate that comes with shoveling and other ice and snow removal, cold weather also affects your heart.
Cold winter air can also elevate blood pressure (with no exertion at all) and increases the blood’s concentration of a protein called fibrinogen, which helps blood clot. All this can add up to a scary situation if you have any sort of blockage or are prone to health problems.
Bottom line: Trying to handle snow removal on your own is a risky proposition.
Even if you’re planning on attaching a plow to your pickup truck, there are risks to your property as well, not to mention the drain on your personal time that could be spent with loved ones, doing work inside your business, or — heaven forbid! — getting some much-needed rest as winter sets in.
Think of this as a PSA, not an attempt to scare you!
Even if it saves you money in the short term, it’s always better to leave ice and snow removal to the professionals.
Neave Snow offers several contract options for snowy winters, and it’s never too early to start the conversation. Call our office at (845) 463-0592, or fill out the web form on the right to have one of our commercial snow and ice management professionals contact you.
Winter is coming, after all!
Image credit: oddharmonic