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SafetyWatch: Winter walkway hazards

February 11, 2016 -  By

Winter walkways hazards include personal hazards, bystander hazards and property hazards.

1. Personal Hazards

  • You could get an electric shock if snow blower paddles grab a live electrical cord. Additionally, cords or other obstructions can fling at you or a bystander, causing injury.
  • Your hand or foot could be injured if you came into contact with the moving paddles. Never try to clear an obstruction from the paddles or chute while the engine is running.
  • Never allow your face or body to approach the discharge stream.
  • When shoveling, pace yourself. Stay dry with proper clothing and drink enough water. Your back will suffer from poor posture; start your shift by going slowly at first, and bend your knees and use your legs to do any lifting.
  • Wear nonslip footwear and watch your step; you can easily slip.
  • Always get help to lift and raise a blower from a truck bed. Otherwise, you could injure your back.
  • Be careful around moving vehicles, especially at night; visibility is poor and drivers may not see you clearly.

2. Bystander hazards

  • Thrown snow or objects can injure someone badly. Don’t blow when pedestrians are within range of the discharge.

3. Property

  • Thrown snow or objects within the snow can break windows and damage paint on a vehicle. Never throw snow against property other than the ground or an existing snow pile.
  • Don’t damage surfaces from which you shovel or blow snow. For example, a blower can scratch the side of a car and a shovel or blower handle against a garage door can scratch the paint.
  • It takes two people to properly lift a blower; you can damage the blower if you drop it, even from 1 foot off the ground.
  • Excessive salt can damage concrete, plants and turf.
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