Winter is coming and snow is looming in its shadows. Too many people don’t consider the necessity of planning for the snow season. It is more than just snowmen and snowball fights. The colder weather can cause businesses more headaches than they may realize. Freezing weather brings snow as well as ice, both increasing slips, trips, and fall hazards. Slips, trips, and falls account for an average of 1 million injuries and $150K in lawsuits annually. The average amount of time an employee loses from slips and falls at work is eleven days. Preparing for the winter season is paramount to protecting your business, your employees, and your customers.
1. Snow Plan
Creating a clear snow plan is a top priority. Creating a plan that includes timing, completion speed, crew size, pile locations, and communication is the key to a less stressful winter. Finding the right ice and snow management company can feel daunting. Many turn to the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA). SIMA has a directory of Certified Snow Professional (CSP) companies. Creating a successful snow plan is not easy. It includes an understanding of needs, space, and forethought. Predicting snowfall each year is not easy. Good snow and ice management companies are experienced in predicted snowfall. Allowing them to do the majority of the work frees you up to focus on other things.
2. Proper Training
Having a snow plan is meaningless if the crew is unable to perform their tasks correctly. Training is paramount. The crew must understand the plan and how to execute it. Can they use the equipment and de-icing material correctly? At Transblue, we use the SIMA snow and ice training series. This ensures that our staff members are properly trained for the worst winter storms. Keeping the crew trained all year helps keep the knowledge ingrained in their mind. It becomes muscle memory. You get the same great service every single time.
3. The Right De-icing Material
Not all de-icing material will react the same. Different surfaces and temperatures can affect the efficiency of the product. The company you choose should have a clear understanding of the differences between calcium sodium, calcium chloride, and calcium magnesium. Understanding the differences should guide them in choosing the right material for each situation. Going into every situation with the same plan will not work for every job.
Slips, trips, and falls run the risk of being less preventable if the right de-icing material is not used. It can cause fall hazards you may have thought were addressed. Your snow and ice management company should be able to explain what the differences are and which is right for your business space.
Simply adding a sign to your sidewalk can make all the difference. Posting safety notices and reminding people to be careful go a long way. Encouraging your staff to wear proper footwear can cut down on slips and falls at work significantly. Keeping safety alive and at the forefront of your employee’s and customers, minds is an easy and cheap way to lower your risk.
Leaving buckets of de-icer with shovels next to the door allows people to be proactive and take their own safety into their hands. Customers and employees are encouraged to throw de-icer or sand when it becomes slippery. Make sure you stay compliant with ADA and have shovels handy to keep all areas clear.
5. Monitor Conditions
Predicting snowfall is not easy. Your local news is not always completely accurate when it comes to weather, especially when inclement dangerous weather can be so undpredictable. Having a company that is always monitoring conditions allows you to have confidence in the weather predictions. Snow removal companies should have access to premium weather services to help prepare for incoming storms. Snowfall is not the only concern. Freezing weather creates slips and fall risks since melting and refreezing is a constant issue. Addressing ice preemptively is necessary for lowering that risk. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) is a great tool to prepare for coming storms.
6. Be Proactive
Being proactive about snow and ice removal will always pay off. Pre-treating your lot and walkways before a snow event will prevent the bond of snow and ice to the pavement. Clearing snow after pre-treating leaves a cleaner, less slippery surface. It also helps reduce the ice compact that forms to the ground. That ice compact can be challenging to remove, and you never want to get to that point. You don’t want to have to spend lots of extra money when you don’t have to.
Slips, trips, and falls can create a headache for any business. Understanding how any business can reduce the risk and protect your employees and customers is always worth the investment. While snow can be fun and beautiful, it can also wreak havoc on a business.
Don’t feel comfortable doing this alone? Hire a qualified snow removal company. Snow and ice removal companies book up quickly, as soon as spring. Make sure to reach out sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action! Transblue has years of experience with snow and ice removal. Call Transblue today if you’re looking for world-class snow service. We provide snow plowing, de-icing, sidewalk shoveling, and sidewalk de-icing.