As temperatures begin to drop, walkways can quickly become hazardous due to snow and ice. Winter slips and falls at businesses are common sources of injuries for visitors and employees alike.
As an employer, it’s crucial to maintain the safety of your property and keep your employees and visitors safe. Whether you take care of snow and ice removal yourself or contract with an outside vendor, it’s your legal responsibility to remove snow and ice in a reasonable amount of time. Failure to do so may be considered negligence and put you at fault for any falls and injuries that occur on your premises.
Tips for Winter Safety
Be proactive and put a winter safety plan in place before the cold weather arrives. This plan should account for winter slip and fall hazards both outside and inside your business. It may include items related to removing snow; de-icing sidewalks and parking lots; using mats and mops for slippery indoor areas; and creating a dedicated area to stow wet items, such as boots and coats.
Other tips to consider as part of your business’s safety plan to enjoy an accident-free winter include:
- Decide whether you will use rock salt or an ice melt product for ice removal. Rock salt works at temperatures above 5 F.
- Mix ice melt with sand to reduce the amount of ice melt you need and to provide extra traction.
- Use the appropriate amount of ice-removal product. Too much product can damage concrete and cause additional danger.
- Repair potential winter hazards (e.g., potholes, clogged gutters or blocked drainage spouts) before they affect visitor safety.
- Make sure employees who help with snow and ice removal wear suitable clothes and proper footwear to help them avoid slips or falls. Encourage frequent breaks if the weather is extremely cold.
Business safety is especially important in winter when hazardous conditions can cause falls and injuries. To ensure you have the needed resources in place for a safe season, contact Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors today.