Snow Removal Deaths

The blizzard of 2018 has claimed two lives from snow removal on Long Island.  According to News 12, both men were in their mid-50s.  Although specifics are not clear, Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone wants residents to remain cautious of the weather conditions today after two men died removing snow from their properties.

Other deaths have been reported throughout the country. A 75-year-old Virginia man was clearing snow from business parking lots on Thursday afternoon and was hit by a snow plow and killed, police reported.  Earlier this month, a 25 year old man in Michigan was killed when snowblowing his driveway, he was hit when a vehicle swerved off the road.

Snow removal can be dangerous and there are precautions to take to keep safe.

PROPER SNOW REMOVAL

Shoveling snow can be a strenuous task, placing a great deal of stress on your back, knees, and heart. Exhaustion and dehydration can also pose health risks, particularly to individuals who shovel for long periods without breaking. To avoid injuries due to shoveling, it’s helpful to:

  • Warm up before shoveling and wear plenty of layers.
  • Shovel small amounts at a time.
  • Push the snow when possible instead of lifting.
  • Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Lift with your legs, keeping your back straight.
  • Avoid twisting your body to reduce back stress.

For those lucky enough to own a snow blower, you are not out of the clear for injuries! Snow blowing accidents typically involve strains in the shoulder from pull string starts or severe lacerations/amputations when attempting to clear snow-jams. ALWAYS turn off the snow blower before removing a jam and use a long stick to unblock ice and snow.  Also, you can be distracted by the noise and lack of visibility from the snow that flies out of the blower.  It is vital to stay alert, watch where you are going, keep off the road and remain visible with bright clothing for drivers to see you from the road.