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Shoveling Safety: It’s Your Job to Get Rid of the Snow

man shoveling snowForecasters are expecting a white Christmas this year. That means much of North Carolina can reasonably plan on digging out from at least under an inch or two. If you own your own home, it’s your job to get rid of snow and ice on common walkways like public sidewalks. If you don’t and someone falls, you could be the defendant in a premise liability lawsuit.

While you don’t want to find yourself in court, you also don’t want to find yourself in the hospital battling at injury because you didn’t shovel correctly. Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to shovel the snow and chip the ice from your walk. Use these tips to clear a path and avoid both a lawsuit and an injury.

1. Slow It Down

If you’re like most people, you are planning on grabbing your shovel and getting to work. Not so fast. Just like you wouldn’t run for miles without first warming up, you shouldn’t shovel your driveway and walk without first stretching out your muscles. Before you grab your shovel and get to work, take some time to bend over and touch your toes, raise your arms high above your head and even twist at the waist a few times. Loosen up and warm up before you tackle the snow.

2. Shovel the Powder

It may be tempting to sit in your house and wait for the skies to finish dumping the snow before you head out an shovel, but you would be safer to shovel more than once if it means shoveling lighter snow. Snow that is falling is lighter than snow that is allowed to sit and accumulate. If there are several inches forecasted, try to shovel at least once before the storm is over.

3. Push the Snow

We’ve all seen those people pushing snow across their driveways and wondered if they were just too lazy to lift it and throw it. The truth is those people aren’t lazy — they are doing it correctly. Instead of scooping and lifting the snow, you should use your shovel like a plow and push the snow. It’s much easier on your body.

4. Don’t Eat First

You really shouldn’t shovel immediately after you’ve eaten. You should also avoid smoking while you are shoveling. Shoveling on a full stomach can cause you to vomit. Smoking while you are shoveling will reduce your ability to properly utilize oxygen.

5. Stop Before You Are Tired

Don’t push yourself too hard. You need to stop shoveling before you’ve reached the point of exhaustion. Listen to your body when you are shoveling. If you find yourself getting short of breath, are too cold or start to feel ill, go back inside.

If you slip and fall on someone’s property this season, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you sustain. If your accident in Charlotte was the result of someone’s negligence, reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. We are happy to be able to offer you a free case evaluation.

Posted In: Premises Liability
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