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Snow Removal Safety Tips

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Winter is definitely here! We’ll all be digging out tomorrow from at least a foot of snow. The Maine Department of Labor is reminding all of us to be careful when getting rid of the white stuff!

We are very blessed to have neighbors who plow our very long driveway. But if you’ll be pulling out the shovel or the snowblower, here are a few quick safety tips!

  • Follow the start-up procedures in your snowblower manual.
  • Do NOT put your fingers down the chute to clear a jam.
  • Shut off the engine before refueling.
  • If close to the roadway, make sure you are visible to traffic.
  • Dress in layers and wear a hat to prevent hypothermia.
  • If shoveling, take frequent breaks and don’t over-exert yourself.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you experience signs of a heart attack, including uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that goes away and comes back or lasts for more than a few minutes; pain in the shoulders, neck and arms; and chest discomfort accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, feeling light-headed and fainting.

When clearing snow from a roof:

  • Make sure the ladder is secure
  • Don’t over-reach the ladder
  • Use a snow rake if possible without going up onto the roof
  • If a flat roof, stay at least 6 feet from the edge
  • Be careful not to step on a skylight

And I would add…keep a cellphone with you, so if are experiencing a problem, you can call for help! For more information, visit the Maine Department of Labor’s SafetyWorks! website. And have a safe weekend!

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