We have had one snowstorm after the other and a lot of snow to shovel. If you need to shovel snow at your job remember there are risks of injury. As a Bronx Workers’ Comp lawyer, I’d like to offer the following tips that both you and your employer should have in place before you head out to shovel.
Prepare: Stretching your body helps to ensure that your muscles stay limber and helps to reduce injury. It is also very important to stay hydrated, so having water with you will help.
Dress appropriately: It is very important not only to prepare yourself by stretching, but to be dressed in layers,which if necessary can be removed. Also it is better to have moisture-wicking clothing. All extremities must be covered! This includes hats, scarves, gloves and boots. In extreme cold temperatures, frostbite can develop in merely five minutes.
Shovel freshly fallen snow: If possible it is best to start your shoveling as close to the end of the snowstorm as possible. Freshly fallen snow is easier to remove as it does not have time to be packed down or for layers of ice to form.
Utilize proper removal techniques: Pushing the snow into the shovel is better then lifting it. Also, you want to make sure you have the proper shovel. If you need to lift snow make sure legs are bent. Remember lifting snow can cause back injuries. By bending your legs as you lift the snow, it will keep the pressure off of your back.
When shoveling in the cold and snow, employers should train employees on OSHA’s Cold stress equation so they can take preventive actions or quickly recognize the symptoms and take corrective actions
Remember Employers are liable for workers’ compensation benefits to an employee who sustains a snow or cold related injury while working. It may be necessary for employers to send you outside to shovel snow, but it is their responsibility to make sure your health and safety is priority. Employee’s should know about safety issues after a winter snow storm.