Risk Management - Preventing Slips During Winter Months.
MANAGING RISK: PREVENTING SLIPS DURING WINTER MONTHS
Due to the increased risk of snow and ice, winter months are particularly dangerous and costly to businesses as fall rates increase. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you ensure safe walking conditions for employees, residents/tenants, guests and shoppers.
- Know your laws. While you may be protected from liability during an active storm, many states have strict time limits for how quickly snow must be removed from walkways, parking lots and steps – this could be anywhere from as few as four hours in New York to 24 hours in Virginia.
- Be sure you have an ice removal program in place that includes the following:
- How to remove and treat snow and ice on walkways, ramps, stairs and parking lots
- Placement of non-skid floor mats spanning a distance of 40 feet, and caution signs at all entryways
- Removal timeframe of snow and ice in connection with snowfall – review state laws
- A legible, written log of snow-clearing activities to serve as a record of when snow and ice removal was carried out. Include the following information: Property name, Location, Date and time, Action taken, Initials or signature of person performing activity.
- Implement a shoe policy asking employees to wear anti-slip soled shoes.
- Put up a notice or send out an email asking employees, guests, residents, visitors or shoppers to report snow- and ice-related hazards.
- Consider hiring a professional snow and ice removal service. You’ll save time and reduce your property’s liability. Be sure to have the contractor sign an agreement ensuring services, laws and insurance needs are in place.
- Have your property inspected periodically by an expert for structural issues that could lead to potential slip, trips or falls.
- Check with your insurance provider to make sure snow-related injuries and damages are covered by your policy.
- Should an accident occur, complete an incident report form immediately and take photographs of the area where the accident occurred.
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