If you’re a teenager living in Alberta, chances are you have been recruited by your guardians to do some extra outdoor winter chores. Once the weather turns you might actually miss mowing the lawn. Living in a harsh climate means that we need to prepare ourselves for cold, ice and snow – not only living in it, but working in it. So, besides your smartphone shutting down because of the cold temperatures, what are some other hazards to spot and avoid?

Snow Removal
Shovelling is usually a task handed down to younger residents of the household. But just because you’re a teenager doesn’t mean you can’t hurt yourself lifting snow. Are you practicing proper shovelling technique?

  • Lift with your legs.
  • Plant your feet a little more than hip-width apart.
  • Keep the shovel full of snow close to your body when lifting, and turn your feet in the direction of your throw.
  • Wear non-slip shoes, gloves and proper head, face and ear protection to prevent frostbite if it’s below zero.
  • If using an ice melt product, check the label first to see if PPE is required – it may be dangerous to touch.

Hanging Christmas Decorations and Lights
Have you put up your lights and decorations already? Or were you a little late this year? Waiting until the snow falls makes things more difficult and dangerous, but if you are a little late throwing things together, make sure you follow these instructions:

  • If using a ladder, make sure it is on stable ground and that someone is holding it. Never step on the top two rungs, and don’t use it if the rungs are icy!
  • Wear proper footwear for the weather so you don’t take a tumble, and so you can put your lawn ornaments in the right spot without exposing your toes to the elements.
  • Use proper electrical safety when handling light strings. Inspect the cords for damage before plugging in. Also inspect the outlet and make sure it is in good working order, and that everything is dry.
  • Tuck the cord away or secure it to the ground to get rid of tripping hazards.


If you’re sent to the store to pick up forgotten feast ingredients, or to the airport to grab Grandma, you’ll probably be faced with typical winter driving conditions. Because Alberta winters are so unpredictable, you’ll have to be prepared for the worst when getting in a vehicle.

  • Make sure your headlights are on, no matter what time of day it is. The glare from snow or ice combined with reduced visibility can make for dangerous driving.
  • Slow down! Ice, snow, slush, or freezing rain can all make stopping difficult.
  • To avoid rear-ending people, leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Let your vehicle warm up and make sure the windows are all free from ice and snow before heading out on the road.

Happy holidays to all the helpers out there. Stay warm and safe! For more tips on Alberta winter safety, contact us.