Winter is here in full force, and with your best efforts to keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled and salted it is tough to keep your premises completely slip free. You can help protect your employees and customers by taking these recommendations under consideration.
Shovel Safely and Thoroughly
Many business owners choose to shovel their own sidewalks instead of opting to pay someone to save some costs. This option opens up increased liability and injuries to employees. Be sure to teach these employees that will be doing the salting and shoveling the proper techniques in order to help prevent repetitive motion, back, and shoulder injuries.
Contract with a Respected Plowing Company
If it is possible it is recommended to hire a local contractor to plow the snow on your premises. When looking who to hire be sure to obtain certificates of insurance. Once you verify that the business carries insurance it is important to sit down and put together a well thought out snow removal plan. This should outline where the contractor should plow, and where the snow should go. Be sure to identify which areas have the most traffic and what times are the busiest for your business.
Document Work Done and Injuries
With the unpredictable weather a great way to minimize liability is to keep a shoveling and salting log. When it is possible, show that you’ve done everything you could to stay on top of shoveling and salting; most courts will dismiss frivolous claims that arise from slips on ice, because no one can keep a sidewalk clean 100% of the time. This shoveling and salting log should include the date and time, which sidewalks were shoveled or salted, and the name of the person who did the work.
A winter slip and fall injury could happen on your premises despite your best efforts. If someone reports to have fallen in your parking lot or on your sidewalk be sure to investigate the situation immediately. Locate where the fall had taken place and take pictures documenting the location. If ice or snow helped contribute to the fall, be sure to shovel or plow the area as soon as possible, if not, look back at your shoveling and salting log and make a note of when the last time that area was plowed, shoveled, or salted.
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