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Hartford HealthCare Winter Safety Tips

February 02, 2015

Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning:

Each year, more than 150 people die from accidental, non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. During large snow storms, gas-powered appliance vents can become blocked with snow. Be sure to clear all vents and be sure your car's exhaust pipe is clear. Other precautions:

  • Before using a fireplace, open the damper for proper ventilation
  • Never use your oven or stove top to heat your home
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open
  • Only use barbecue grills outdoors
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas

Snow blower safety:

  • Never stick your hands in the snow blower! If snow jams the snow blower, stop the engine and wait more than 5 seconds. Use a solid object to clear wet snow or debris from the chute. Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the machine has been turned off.
  • Never leave a running snow blower unattended
  • Add fuel only before starting the snow blower.
  • Never add fuel in an enclosed space.
  • The engine can become very hot. Avoid burns by never touching the area near the engine.
  • Use the pull-cord safely. Sharply pulling a stuck pull-cord may cause injury to your upper body or back.
  • If you are operating an electric snow blower, be aware of the power cord at all times. If the cord becomes caught in the machine and is severed or comes in contact with the engine and burns, you could receive a shock or more serious injury.
  • Keep children far away from snow blowers.

Safe shoveling:

  • Before you begin this physical workout, warm-up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise.
  • Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength.
  • Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, bend your knees and use your legs, do not bend at the waist.
  • Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.

For our staff:

For staff members who are scheduled to work, please:

  • Leave additional time for travel. Parking and getting to your workplace will take longer than usual.
  • Prepare your car prior to leaving; have water, a blanket, a charged cell phone, flares and a first-aid kit available.
  • Wear appropriate footwear: flat, non-skid boots/shoes.
  • Watch your step; snow may cover icy surfaces.
  • Garage surfaces freeze. Use caution when exiting your vehicle.
  • Watch for melted snow puddles in lobbies and hallways.
  • When possible, walk in groups and on well-lit and clear paths