Today’s safety tips are sent from our friend from the United Kingdom, Matt Hornsby.  Although Matt acknowledges that we Texans aren’t facing this problem yet, our friends north of us will be soon.  Some parts of the panhandle of our state are more fortunate to receive more snow in the winter than others, but there will be plenty of snow to go around in many states, so get ready and to follow these instructions from Matt.

Although this topic may sound trivial at first, it is still important to take into consideration after a large downpour of snow.  A sudden downfall of snow can block everything from stairways to front doors, so it’s important to buy a decent snow shovel and ensure that your home is “Winter Proof”.  Clearing the white stuff off your driveway can be irritating, but here’s how to do it in a safe and methodical way.

1.  Do Some Stretches.

Before you go outside to dig your car out of a snow drift, be sure to do some warm up exercises.  Shovelling snow can be quite hard work in the cold, so always prepare your muscles for a good cardiac session.  Jogging on the spot, squats and star jumps should all help loosen you up and stretches should stop you from aching the next day.

2.  Use an Appropriate Show Shovel.

When clearing away snow, it’s important to use a snow shovel that’s not too heavy for you.  The last thing you want is a self-inflicted injury, so be sure to buy the right tools.  Bent-handle snow shovels are ideal, as they’ll save you from stooping too low and you’ll save yourself some energy.  There are many different snow shovel designs out there, so make your purchase carefully.

3.  Decide Where to Put the Snow.

Always decide where you’re going to move the snow before you start shovelling away.  You can’t just put it anywhere, so think of a suitable place.  Don’t block off fire exits or your neighbour’s drive and avoid piling it too high.  The last thing you want is a mini avalanche, so be extremely careful where and how you dump unwanted snow.

4. Push Snow.

Wherever possible, try to push rather than lift snow out of the way.  Those delicate little flakes that fall from the sky can become a heavy mass, so be sure to protect your back.  Always throw snow forward and avoid tossing it over your shoulder as this could cause an injury.  Why not also ask your friends to help you out so you don’t have to do all the work yourself?

5. Be as Thorough as Possible.

Try to remove as much snow from your driveway as possible so it has a better chance of thawing out.  Big piles of snow take longer to disappear, so if you want to keep your driveway in action, shovel the white stuff elsewhere.  Snow can thaw at its own time so long as it’s not blocking your way.  Always keep an eye out for icy patches, however, and keep grit spreaders nearby throughout winter.

Mother Nature can send a flurry of flakes falling at any time during winter, so it’s best to be prepared.

Thanks, Matt, for another great article that focuses on our safety!  You can read more of Matt’s articles on