How to stay safe when using a snow plow and other snow removal equipment Avengers actor Jeremy Renner was in a snow plow accident Sunday and is currently hospitalized. These are some ways to stay safe when removing snow.

How to stay safe using snow removal equipment

A plow clears snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP

A plow clears snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y.

Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP

Avengers actor Jeremy Renner was hospitalized Sunday after a snow plow accident and is now recovering.

Renner suffered blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries in the accident in Reno, Nevada, and has been in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery, according to his representative.

The actor posted on Instagram from a hospital bed Tuesday, saying "Thank you for all your kind words. Im too messed up now to type. But I send love to you all."

Snow plows are affixed to vehicles to shovel snow out of the way. Here's how to stay safe when using them and other snow removal equipment, according to the retailer Replacement Commercial Parts Warehouse.

Snow plows

  • Make sure you are well-rested before undertaking the activity.
  • Dress warmly.
  • Inspect the vehicle and plow thoroughly.
  • When moving between sites, turn the plow off and angle it to the right to avoid making contact with snow banks.
  • Try not to exceed 40 miles per hour with the vehicle.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature gauge to make sure the engine isn't overheating.
  • Identify obstacles, such as speed bumps, curbs, fences and pipes, and outline your path using driveway markers.
  • Take a break if you need to.

Snow shovels

  • Warm up your muscles for about 10 minutes. Shoveling snow can be a workout.
  • Pace yourself, hydrate and stop if you experience signs of distress, such as shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • Use a shovel fitted to your height and strength level.
  • Don't throw snow to the side or behind you as the twisting motion can add strain to the body.

Snow blowers

  • Keep your hands and feet away from the blower's moving parts, and don't touch the engine with exposed skin.
  • Clear the area of loose items, such as doormats, sleds and boards.
  • Wear ear plugs.
  • Don't leave it unattended or point it toward people, and stay aware of where it is throwing snow.
  • Do not put fuel in it while it is running or hot.
  • Children under 15 should not operate a snow blower, or be in the vicinity of a running one.

General snow removal tips

  • Dress warmly.
  • Be sure you can see clearly.
  • It's better to start early and clear it often, to avoid having to move compacted snow.
  • Check with a doctor, as clearing snow can elevate the heart rate.