Preventing Ice and Snow Hazards: Building Safety Tips

Winter has arrived. Snow and ice will undoubtedly be covering the sidewalks and walkways of your building creating a slip and fall danger. This isn’t just bad for the injured person but for your insurance policy as well if you have to submit a claim. Business owners, their employees, and their customers aren’t the only people coming and going each day that could suffer a scary fall. There are also delivery people, postal workers, building employees, the list goes on and on. All-day long their boots and sneakers track in water, snow, and salt from the city streets and sidewalks. Lobby floors become ice skating rinks and steps turn treacherous. One of the many responsibilities of a building owner or landlord is to plan in advance for these situations. Nothing is worse than waking up to a storm and realizing you’re not prepared.

Battling these wintery conditions can be much less stressful with these few suggestions; assuming you’ve already gone through the bidding process and secured a snow removal and ice management contract. Firstly, ensure that you have an immediate fix in place that can be carried out by anyone. Ice buckets with scoops and tightly fitting covers should be placed at each entrance. They should be clearly marked and refilled daily. The expense of refilling the buckets each night and allowing anyone to throw salt on the sidewalks is incidental compared to the safety you’re providing by keeping the sidewalks ice-free.

Staying in front of the slushy mess inside the building will be easier if you add these practices to your protocol. Keep wet floor signs close to the entrances so they can be put out immediately. Have buckets and mops handy to soak up the extra water from melting snow and ice. Maintain a supply of back up floor mats near the entrances. When you are having issues keeping the entrances dry a few extra mats makes it a lot safer for people to walk on.

Establish an automatic service amount with your snow removal company. Many business owners make the mistake of not allowing companies to plow or apply salt without first getting permission. Landscapers and snow companies receive in-depth weather reports and know when to schedule services. If they do not require your permission they will add you to the list and you’re property will likely be plowed and salted sooner. Micromanaging service companies may seem like a great way to control your expenses and save your budget, but when it comes to safety it’s better to leave it to the experts.

Consider making these suggestions a part of your ice and snow management plan this winter. Being prepared reduces stress and increases safety. When precipitation hits, and it definitely will, keeping the walkways and sidewalks clear keeps the public and all who enter your establishment safe.