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Be Careful When Shoveling Snow

By RTH Staff
Published January 29, 2012

With today's snowfall, the City of Hamilton's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department calls on residents to follow safe snow shoveling practices.

Today's heavy packing snow can be dangerous to shovel
Today's heavy packing snow can be dangerous to shovel

According to EMS director Brent Browett, so far this evening paramedics have already been dispatched to two separate incidents of an elderly man collapsing while shoveling snow: one in the Ancaster area and one in the east end.

Update: As of 8:21 PM, EMS has responded to a total of four incidents related to snow shoveling.

EMS urges residents to stay safe. Snow shoveling is a strenuous activity, and you should consult your doctor before shoveling if you have had a heart attack or other heart disease, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are a smoker, lead a sedentary lifestyle or are otherwise at risk.

If you are at risk, consider hiring a snow mover or contacting Hamilton's Snow Angels volunteer snow removal service.

EMS also recommends the following if you are going out to shovel:

Stop shoveling and call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience any of the following:

A full list of safety tips is available for download [PDF].

Also, if you are young and healthy and know of an elderly neighbour, consider shoveling their snow for them.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 30, 2012 at 11:21:36

On the other side of the health and safety coin, please think about pedestrians, especially parents w/ strollers and those w/ mobility devices, before you decide to leave snow and ice on your sidewalk.

And remember, if someone hasn't cleared up their portion of the streetscape after 24hrs, do your part to help get it cleared: Register a complaint at the Municipal Law Enforcement Section at 905-546-2782 (M-F, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm), or 905-546-CITY(2489) after business hours.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 31, 2012 at 06:57:43 in reply to Comment 73492

Or, be a good Samaritan and shovel it yourself. Think of it as a random act of kindness - maybe both for the resident and pedestrians.

I can remember as a kid shoveling my driveway, then being ordered to help the neighbours clear theirs. It just takes a shovel, a bit of strength, and the neighbours always appreciated it.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 30, 2012 at 11:36:58 in reply to Comment 73492

On the other side of the health and safety coin, please think about pedestrians, especially parents w/ strollers and those w/ mobility devices, before you decide to leave snow and ice on your sidewalk.

This also goes for those folks who shovel a narrow path just wide enough for a single, able-bodied, unencumbered pedestrian. ;)

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted January 31, 2012 at 20:54:37 in reply to Comment 73494

Have to say that when the snow falls, I feel glad my stroller-pushing days are done.

Worry about lots of people I know, though, who need to get around.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 31, 2012 at 08:44:24

Or, be a good Samaritan and shovel it yourself.

10-4 on that one, especially if you know your neighbours would have a tough time doing it themselves.

Although, I have to say, I do draw the line at clearing snow for businesses and multi-residential buildings, of which there are many in the core: these are profit-making enterprises for their owners, and as such, the owners are responsible and should be on top of maintenance issues. If not, then they can incur the financial penalties associated with having the City clear it for them.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 31, 2012 at 20:11:43 in reply to Comment 73520

Agreed with on the point regarding commercial/multi-tenant buildings. I grew up in the suburbs in Dundas so that's what I was referring to.

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