Snow Shoveling Guidelines for Volunteers

shovelAging in Place Cumberland appreciates all the wonderful volunteers who help older people in our town by wielding a snow shovel on their behalf. Thank you!
Your efforts make a big difference in helping keep our older residents safe in the winter.

We want to do our best to keep all our volunteers safe as well while they are lending a hand. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of injury while shoveling:

  • Dress appropriately. Wearing layers of clothing (nylon and polyester) can keep you warm while wicking away moisture from exertion. Wear warm shoes/boots that keep your feet dry and have nonslip soles.
  • Warm up those muscles. To avoid muscle strain, a short warm-up of stretching exercises can condition your muscles and limit aches and pains afterward.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Use ergonomically sound techniques to minimize strain on your muscles. Place hands on the shovel approximately 12 inches apart and push snow, rather than lifting it whenever possible. If you must lift, squat with legs apart, legs bent and back straight, and use your leg muscles to lift small amounts of snow at one time. Don’t bend at the waist or throw snow over the shoulder or to the side, which requires twisting.
  • Pace yourself. Shovel small amounts of snow at a time, especially if the snow is wet. A shovel full of wet snow can weigh up to 25 pounds!
  • Avoid head injuries. If shoveling with a partner, allow plenty of clearance (at least 10 feet) between you and the other shoveler. Use plastic shovels for light snow. Check to make sure no one will be hit by your shovel as you work.
  • Check with your doctor. If you are not usually active or have a history of heart disease, check with your doctor before shoveling snow.

Based on a fact sheet prepared by Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

AIP Volunteer Assignment

By signing on as an AIP shoveling volunteer, you agree to:

  • Report for duty within 48 hours after a storm has ended.
  • Shovel walkways and other access paths to the resident’s house.
  • Shovel a path to oil fill outlets if requested.

You are NOT expected and AIP does not want volunteers to do the following:

  • Shovel driveways.
  • Shovel outbuildings (other than residence).
  • Clear roofs.
  • Perform any other potentially dangerous snow-removal job.