By Kelly Combot, Commercial Estimator, Marketing Manager
We’ve all heard horror stories of people slipping and falling in the winter and breaking bones or receiving other serious injuries — it may have even happened to you or someone you know. While the nature of these injuries is terrible on its own, it can spell double trouble for businesses.
Here’s what you need to know about possible liability issues during the winter.
Prevention is key
This is often easiest to say in hindsight, but prevention is the best way to mitigate any winter liability issues. Keep up on forecasts and prepare the outside of your business accordingly or have a plan in place if you can’t do it on your own. Pick up de-icing supplies like salt or sand well in advance and make sure you have a shovel handy so that you can clear a path until your snow removal team can get there. Depending on the size of your property, you may even want to have a snowblower on hand just in case.
Leave it to the professionals
For your parking lot, no matter the size, it’s best to seek out a commercial snow removal service. Companies like Superior will have the equipment and the staff necessary to clean your lot quickly and effectively every time snow accumulates.
We also have the experience necessary to assess the best snow removal options for your business. Our snow removal experts will assess your property, inspecting building entrances, curbs and other obstructions, drainage, snow storage, steps and ramps, and they’ll perform pre- and post-damage inspections.
The other benefit of commercial services is that the good ones are always insured, so there’s no risk to you pertaining to their equipment or employees.
You may think that once your parking lot, walkway, and steps are taken care of that you’re good to go, but don’t forget what lurks above. Icicles can prove incredibly hazardous if left unchecked, especially in early and late winter when melting occurs. If a particularly sharp icicle or large chunk of ice detaches itself from your eaves or roof, you’re going to have a problem.
Snow can also accumulate on your roof, which can pose a hazard if it decides to slide off on a warmer day or after too much build-up. If it falls on someone’s car and causes damage or, worse, it falls on someone’s head, then it can show negligence on your part. Again, prevention is key.
If you’re clearing icicles and snow above your entrance or walkway every day and it just keeps building up, consider rerouting foot traffic if possible. All the caution signs in the world still won’t make it safe for customers to walk under a hazard like that.
Consider the great indoors
Once you have outside taken care of, don’t forget about inside your business. Customers are going to track in snow, ice, salt, sand, and water, which can all lead to slipping hazards inside. Put up caution signs in the particularly wet spots, make sure entrance mats are cleaned or replaced regularly, have a mop or even a shovel ready for those particularly mucky days when slush can build up on the floors just inside your entrance.
Need a pro?
Need help keeping your lot or walkway clear in the winter? Call Superior today for a quote and we’ll come up with the action plan that suits your needs best. We offer hourly, monthly or seasonal rates and have the equipment and staff necessary to keep your property clear and safe.