Winter is coming up fast, and it’s time to prepare for it. While it may conjure up images of the holidays, it also brings snow and ice that create hazards. This is especially true for businesses who have employees and perhaps customers coming and going constantly. Slips and falls are one of the most common hazards of freezing weather. A single fall that causes injury could lead to a lawsuit. Have the number of a law firm like Trammell and Mills Law Firm on hand that you can contact immediately if an accident occurs. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risks during the slick season.
Focus on the Outside
Preventing accidents takes constant maintenance. Be certain you have arranged for snow removal in your parking lot. Keep a good supply of salt or sand for scattering over slick walkways or blacktops. The trickiest spot can be stairs, which are more difficult to navigate for small children and the elderly. Be sure both steps and handrails are de-iced and in good repair. You should also take pains to see that handicapped access points are ice-free. And don’t forget to periodically clear the roof—falling ice or snow could also create slipping hazards.
Maintain an Interior
There’s bound to be snow that gets tracked in and turns to slush, especially at major entry points such as front doors and loading docks. Be sure you have thick, rubber-based floor mats at every entry to reduce the chance of slippage, and that all water is promptly mopped up. Buying a cheap wet-vac for just this purpose could make it easier. Keep an eye on high traffic areas, and have some “CAUTION” signs on-hand to alert passers-by if there’s a risk of slipping.
Keep Up with the Weather
Every change can create new conditions. Keep track of weather reports and be prepared for heavy snowfalls. Often it will warm up during the day to create running melt waters that refreeze at night. Have someone examine the parking lot and walkways the next morning to locate areas where the ice has reformed, or melting has washed away the sand and salt. Don’t forget that just an inch of snowfall can be hiding slippery ice. If you have people on hand before dawn or after dark, make sure walkways and entry points are well lit.
Prepare Your Employees
Discuss your wintertime preparations with your staff and assign responsibilities. Set aside the time and funds that will be required to maintain your property. Remind your employees that they should wear appropriate winter wear, especially waterproof footwear that offers good traction. They should be encouraged to stay vigilant and report any hazardous conditions they see. Be sure your general liability insurance provides adequate coverage.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.