8 Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Posted at 11:05 a.m.

snow shovelingThe snow is starting to fall and we remain under a Winter Storm Warning.

The state and the county do not clear snow and ice from public walkways (sidewalks and trails). While not legally obligated, residents and businesses are asked to help keep sidewalks safe for pedestrians, people with disabilities, elderly and children when they return to school.

Shoveling snow can by physically demanding and can lead to injuries such as sprains and strains. Please follow these safety tips when you go out in today’s wintry weather:

  1. If you or someone you are with begins to have chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away.
  2. If you have a history of heart disease do not shovel without your doctor’s okay.
  3. Shovel small amounts of snow at a time.
  4. Push the snow instead of lifting where possible. If you have a driveway, move snow to the opposite side of where a plow will push.
  5. Use proper form if lifting is necessary: keeping your back straight and lift with your legs.
  6. Avoid shoveling under snow and ice covered trees and roof lines due to possibly falling limbs, ice and snow.
  7. Take breaks while shoveling and do not overexert yourself, especially if you are inactive or over 40.
  8. Dress in layers and wear warm clothing, especially because wind chills will be dropping below zero.

More in this short video:

More winter preparedness information can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/winter-storm-snow-cold.htm.


About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

4 responses to “8 Snow Shoveling Safety Tips”

  1. vernadreyer@cox.net says :

    Could you send out email and tell all the nit wits that park straight in all around the courts they need to pull in their nice long driveways or park all on the opposite side of street and in the court pull in longways if no driveway , its a disgrace here how they are parked up in our court. Snow truck with plow & sand have a terrible time and they have been up here serveral times, even the trash removal trucks have a hard time turning.

  2. JB says :

    Qualifications of speaker? script author?
    5: ‘keep your back vertical’ (a corpse might have a straight back, but it’s not vertical). Avoid reaching out with a loaded shovel. …
    … vid: wear NON-wicking fabric, silk, wool, some synthetics, not cotton or blends which wick the moisture back to your skin.
    Dress for “dry”. Avoid sweating. The outer layer should block the wind, but easily open to vent or doff during exertion.
    Change damp under-clothes frequently to avoid chill & chafe.

  3. Jon says :

    Thank you so much for posting this