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Haylor Risk Management Blog

Winter Weather: Parking Lots & Sidewalks 

Posted by Risk Management Team on Jan 17, 2018 4:09:08 PM

Snow Removal Service_300_200.jpgWith the blink of an eye, wind speed and direction can turn a sunny winter day into a blizzard event that lasts for a week. Whatever the weather, a well-planned snow and ice removal strategy will be essential for the safety of your customers and employees as well as your daily operations and bottom line. One incident of slip and fall can be detrimental, but as the business or property owner, you should be aware of other incidents and risks that may arise from failure to properly remove ice or snow from your property.

Contracting_Work_Snow_Removal.jpgMany property owners contract snow removal with an outside vendor. When hiring an outside company to remove ice and snow, there needs to be a clear transfer of risk. Without one, you could find yourself in a sticky legal situation should there be an incident. A contract should be drawn up between your company and the contractor with the advice from a legal professional. This formal document should include the seasonal term and it should specify where the snow is to be removed from and where it needs to go as well as the specifics on shoveling, plowing, salting/sanding etc. Another suggested item for the contract should be on call availability for immediate needs or situations. The contractor should be responsible (in writing) for property damage or personal injury due to their negligence on your property. Any subcontractors hired by the contracted snow removal company should understand that they need to follow the contract as written as well.

Property or business owners who choose to do their own plowing or snow removal should maintain a schedule and log of who is shoveling or plowing, when they are scheduled to do so and where the snow is to go. This may take some training to ensure that your property is properly taken care of in order to prevent incidents that may occur due to negligence. Shovels and plows should be in good working order and there should be a good supply of rock salt or ice melt on hand. Employees who are required to do the snow removal should also have the proper PPE to do this function of their job such as boots, gloves, hat and coat.

Prevention of injury along with prevention of legal action starts with you, the business or property owner. Although you try to keep a safe space for all who enter, there may be the occasional incident. You will want to protect your assets and minimize business risks with the purchase of commercial liability insurance. 

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