Safe Shovelling


Tips For Safe Shovelling

When you live in Saskatchewan, chances are good you’ll do some shovelling at one time or another. Whether you are digging out a car or digging in the garden, shovelling is hard work – especially on the back. For elderly people, those with back problems, or those with heart conditions, shovelling can be dangerous and may be best left to someone else. Before shovelling, follow these helpful tips:

  • flex and stretch your muscles before starting any shoveling job
  • stop for rest, stretch and water breaks
  • make sure the area to be shovelled is free of debris and obstacles
  • if you must dig down, contact your local utility company to mark pipes and cables ahead of time
  • wear proper protective clothing (gloves, boots, etc.)
  • if you are working with others, allow for safe distance between you

Proper Shovelling Technique

Knowing the proper technique for shoveling can help reduce your chance of suffering a back injury.

  1. Keep feet wide apart. Place your front foot close to the shovel.
  2. Put weight on your front foot. Use your leg to push shovel.
  3. Shift weight to rear foot. Keep load close to your body.
  4. Turn feet in the direction of the throw (do not twist at waist).
  5. When digging, push spade down with leg muscle.
  6. Slide load close to your body. Ensure load is loose from ground before lifting.