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Personal Lines Perspectives – December 2021


Staying Safe While Shovelling Snow

Snow and other winter weather hazards can create serious risks for a person’s health and well-being. Even when attempting to make your own property safer from these conditions—by shovelling pavements and car parks, for instance—it’s necessary to understand the dangers that could present themselves.

Shovelling snow can lead to many adverse health effects, including heart attacks and musculoskeletal disorders. To keep yourself as safe as possible, implement these steps into your snow-clearing processes:

  • Consider your health. It’s important to take personal health and well-being into consideration before shovelling. People with a history of heart problems or other conditions should think about finding friends, family or other assistance.
  • Warm up. Do some light movements, including bending and stretching, before going outside to shovel. This will decrease your chance of strain injuries.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear several layers of clothing, including a warm hat, mittens and wellies.
  • Select proper equipment. Purchase a shovel designed with good ergonomics. Such tools may help lessen your need to bend or reach. Plastic shovels may also be advantageous compared with metal varieties because they are lighter.
  • Push rather than lift. You can help reduce stress and strain on your body by using your shovel to push snow to the side of pavements rather than lifting it off of the ground.
  • Take breaks. It’s necessary to know your limits. Give yourself frequent breaks, and be sure to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Allowing snow to accumulate and rest could make shovelling more difficult. Freshly fallen snow is lighter than snow that has started to melt.


Tips for Making Your Festive Decorations Eco-friendly

The festive season has arrived. While preparing for family gatherings, Christmas parties and other excitement, it may also be possible to enjoy all of these things while being eco-friendly. Consider these steps:

  • Rent, don’t buy. Every year, millions of Christmas trees are disposed of after the festive season. Consider finding a tree rental service. Some companies may even deliver your tree to your home and then pick it up in January before replanting it.
  • Wrap and recycle. Use recyclable wrapping paper that does not contain foil, glitter or plastic. In addition, unwrap presents carefully and save the paper to be used again next year.
  • Reconsider wreaths. Wreaths that include plastic accessories and glittery decorations may include non-sustainable materials. In addition, these elements may be harmful to birds and other wildlife.
  • Switch to LEDs. LED Christmas lights use up to 80 per cent less energy than incandescent lights. This means more protection for the environment and more savings on your energy bill. Using solar-powered lights outdoors can further these benefits.


How to Help Pets Adjust to Their Owners Returning to Work

While pets provide comfort and companionship for millions of people around the world, it’s important to remember that animals also may rely on their owners to do the same. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), approximately 3.2 million UK households welcomed a new pet into their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

With many owners now being called back to traditional work environments, it’s necessary to consider how being alone during the day may affect pets who may not be used to such isolation. According to a PFMA survey, only 15 per cent of new pet owners said that their office environment is pet-friendly.

Pet owners who are returning to a physical workplace should consider the following steps:

  • Ask. Although the aforementioned PFMA survey found that only 15 per cent of new pet owners worked in pet-friendly environments, employers may be willing to make accommodations. It never hurts to ask.
  • Search. Finding a day care centre, particularly for dogs, can be a great way to keep your pet from having to spend long hours alone at home. Similarly, employing a dog sitter or dog walker will provide your pet with companionship and stimulation during the day.
  • Network. As PFMA’s research shows, there is no shortage of new pet owners who may be in similar situations. It may be possible to build a network of friends and carers who can take turns looking after each other’s pets.
  • Observe. Even if you may be confident that your pet will be alright staying home alone, it’s important to understand signs of stress and anxiety, such as:
    • Damaging property
    • Urinating or defecating improperly
    • Pacing or circling
    • Shaking
    • Drooling

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