It’s coming Cleveland, there is no denying it. The snow and ice will be here soon and although it is a beautiful time of year it can cause dangerous situations for your employees and visitors, leaving you vulnerable to liability. Most of our neighbors are preparing for the arrival of old man winter by hiring a snow removal service, that is a great start but, simply not good enough.
In addition to removing accumulated snow, you must have a plan in place for continuous treatment of walking surfaces to ensure that they are safe and free from potential slip and trip hazards. This concern is at an all-time high when temperature dip below freezing. Aside from protecting your employees and visitors health and wellness, slip and trip claims are very expensive and guess what…you are liable.
According to online insurance company data, the value of an average slip and fall claim is $25,132!
Most slips occur in high traffic areas including parking lots, parking garages, sidewalks, lobby/ entrance areas and job sites. Black ice and lack of traction are the most common cited reason for these accidents.
What can you do?
It’s easy- have a plan that includes not only the removal of snow but the application of rock salt or other ice melt product. This is the only way to ensure the prevention of black ice and addition of traction. Anti-icing is a proactive strategy that must start with a plan (preferably in writing and communicated by upper management).
1) Prioritize by focusing on key high traffic areas first.
2) Perform an audit prior to the winter season to determine repairs to be done to walkways, parking lots, etc leaving them free of defects such as pooling water. (Be sure that these repairs are done with slip resistant materials.)
3) Determine and inventory of rock salt/ ice melting product to have on hand at all times.
4) Assign an accountable party to manage the inventory to assure it is kept at the determined level.
5) Create a re-ordering process or request a recurring delivery of salt.
6) Be diligent in monitoring walking surfaces by creating a daily schedule.
7) Apply after snow removal and re- apply during high traffic times.
8) Use proper means of spreading your safety salt to assure an even coverage.
We are all so busy that this can easily be forgotten. We would like to encourage you this winter season to make the safety of your employees and visitors a high priority by keeping their walking surfaces well treated and free of ice or snow.