Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
in Winter Weather
BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia
Getting through a Richmond Snow Storm
The changing seasons produce unique weather-related conditions that can create hazards for patrons, employees and the public. BCLS, LLC Snow & Ice Management has developed the following suggested procedures to help mitigate the risk of a winter weather slip, trip or fall injury on your premises.
Winter snow and ice removal –
- All exterior walkways, parking lots and building entrances should be cleaned of snow and ice, and treated with ice melt, one hour prior to the opening of business. Any snow or ice that has accumulated between cars will also need to be removed.
- Snow and ice that has been removed should be placed in areas that will minimize hazards as it melts, for instance, in lower elevations of the property. Storm drains should be marked with reflective stakes before winter weather begins, so they can be kept clear to drain off melting water.
- Snow should be cleared from safety equipment such as fire hydrants and fire department connections to the sprinkler system. This equipment should be marked with reflective stakes before winter weather begins. Exit doors should be cleared of snow, and tested to ensure they can be opened fully.
- Exterior walkways, parking lots and building entrances should be inspected periodically throughout the day and re-treated as needed. Ice and snow often melts in sunnier areas or during warmer parts of the day, and refreeze in shady areas or as the day gets colder. Drains can become clogged, causing melt water to build up.
- Use a form such as the Snow and Ice Control Record to document inspections as well as snow and ice removal.
- Take precautions to prevent employee injuries during snow and ice removal. Ensure employees are fully trained in the use of snow blowers, plows and other equipment. Keep bystanders away from equipment. Take adequate rest breaks. If removing snow loads from roofs or ice from gutters, use proper fall protection and protect skylights and other hazards.
- During the autumn, periodic inspections should be made and action taken as needed to ensure walkways are cleared of leaves (wet leaves are a slipping hazard).
Mats and Runners
Where mats have been used to control wet areas in entry ways to the building, the following conditions require immediate action:
- If pedestrian traffic leaves wet foot prints when stepping off the mat, the mat needs to be replaced with a dry one or an additional mat needs to be placed at the end of the first mat.
- If the mat has become wrinkled or bunched up, it needs to be reset so it is flat and doesn’t present a tripping hazard.
Incident Investigation Procedure
Should a slip, trip or fall occur, follow the procedures outlined below.
- Helping the injured person will be the primary concern immediately following an incident. Never leave the person alone. If assistance is needed, send someone else or have someone stay with the person while you get help.
When a hazard has been identified through an incident investigation or a facility inspection, then maintenance personnel or an outside contractor must be notified so that the problem can be corrected. The following procedure is recommended to accomplish this task:
- Be sure that all employees are aware of specific actions to be taken in the event a hazard is identified, particularly if they will be responsible for mitigation.
- Any problem identified by any employee or brought to the attention of staff by the public should be communicated to the appropriate manager immediately.
- The manager responsible for facility maintenance should inspect the problem and communicate the best action to take. This may include in-house personnel correcting the hazard, contacting the responsible outside contractor, or both.
- If the hazard can’t be corrected immediately, a temporary control (such as barriers or hazard tape) should be put in place to prevent anyone from being injured.
Commercial and Residential
Snow and Ice Removal Services
Interested in learning more about our BCLS, LLC Snow & Ice Management Services?
Contact us at (804) 752-0052 or visit us online at BCSL Snow and Ice Management LLC.
We offer comprehensive commercial snow and ice management for HOA’s, Apartment Homes and Multi-Family communities throughout all of Central Virginia