As a real estate property owner, you want everyone to be safe this winter while visiting your retail center, restaurant, or HOA.
How can you ensure that everyone stays protected from slip and fall incidences this winter?
Make sure your snow and ice plan is updated, and your snow contractor knows what areas need to be cleared of snow and ice on your property.
The following information isn’t a replacement for your insurance company’s protocols. Always contact your insurer to get exact details on handling snow, ice, and slip and fall accidents.
10 Winter Safety Tips for Your Commercial Property
You should have your safety protocols already laid out well before December. If not, you may still have time to get your safety plan together before it snows. Here are 10 winter safety tips to adopt for your commercial property:
- Clear all building entrances, sidewalks, and parking lots of snow and ice. Your snow contractor will take care of clearing the parking lots, entryways, and sidewalks, depending on the type of contract you have with them.
- Ensure that snow is removed between vehicles to avoid slipping and falling in the parking lot.
- Ensure that your snow contractor knows where to dump the snow on your property. Snow piles should be in low elevation areas and away from stormwater drains.
- Use reflective stakes to mark where drains are located on your property, so your contractor doesn’t put snow on top of it. You want melted snow to flow into your stormwater drains and not puddling that freezes over when the sun goes down.
- Clear all snow and ice from exterior safety equipment, such as fire hydrants and fire department connections. Put out reflective stakes around this equipment, so no one piles snow on it while shoveling.
- All snow and ice need to be cleared from exit areas. Test the doors to make sure that they open fully.
- Remember that snow and ice will melt in sunny, warm areas, and then it’ll refreeze when it gets dark, and temperatures drop. Shaded areas will refreeze faster than sunny areas.
Make sure you put down ice melt on these hazardous areas if your snow contractor isn’t coming out again to take care of these jobs for you.
- Keep track of your employees’ snow and ice management times. If you hire a snow contractor, ensure that the company uses recordkeeping while working on your commercial property. Create an inspection spreadsheet with the following:
- Employee’s initials
- How much ice melt was used
- Additional notes.
- Ensure that all of your employees are trained to properly remove snow and ice, including teaching them how to shovel snow, use a snowblower safely, and put down ice melt.
- Walk around your commercial property to ensure that all walkways are shoveled and the parking lot has no snow or ice.
If you have a snow contractor, check to see if they do periodic checks to ensure that the parking lot, walkways, and building entrances are free from snow and ice.
What Should You Do If Someone Slips and Falls on Your Property?
You may have taken all of the safety precautions. You and your team are diligent by keeping exterior walkways, building entrances, and the parking lot free from snow and ice.
However, slip and fall accidents do happen. Again, this advice is informational only. Check with your insurance agent on how to handle all slips and falls.
If someone falls because they slipped on ice, here’s what you and your team should do:
- Go to the person and stay with them. Have someone call 911 and never leave the injured person alone.
- After the injured person is in the hands of emergency personnel, contact your snow contractor or maintenance team to inform them of the incident.
- Keep the area as it was during the accident—Mark off the perimeter to prevent anyone else from slipping and falling.
- Take pictures of the area, including where the slip and fall happened.
- Don’t discuss liability or fault with anyone who isn’t an employee.
- If you’re the supervisor, make sure you fill out an accident report form. If you’re aren’t a supervisor, make sure the person in charge knows of the incident.
Save Yourself the Hassle of Clearing Your Exterior Areas of Snow and Ice
If you don’t want to be responsible for a pristine parking lot and other snow and ice areas, you need to hire a snow contractor.
BCLS Landscape Service’s headquarters is in Ashland, VA; we also have offices in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads, VA. We provide snow and ice management for the following commercial properties:
- Multi-family properties
- Offices, stand-alone and office parks
- Retail centers and shopping malls
- Institutional properties
- Industrial properties.
We welcome your RFP invitation to send a bid for the upcoming year. You can contact us by calling 804-752-0052 or filling out our contact form.
BCLS Landscape Services provides property care to residential and commercial properties throughout Richmond and Central Virginia.
Hanover.com, Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Winter Weather.
Ibid, Snow and Ice Control Record.