This winter—and every winter—take time to survey your facility and surrounding property for potentially dangerous conditions. Remember that property owners owe a certain level of care to the guests who enter the property, and failure to take reasonable measures to keep things safe might trigger liability for accidents that occur. Proactive accident prevention is not as simple as shoveling snow and throwing down some sidewalk salt, however.
Leaky gutters, faulty lighting, and bad insurance are just a few examples of ticking time bombs that might detonate this winter. To insulate your business and protect your customers, take time to review the following winter safety checklist.
Winter Safety Checklist
Clear the debris. Snow, ice, and sidewalk salt (yes—too much salt is dangerous) are among the most common types of debris that cause slips and falls in winter. Task a team of employees to clear debris from all major points of entry on a daily basis. If needed, or hire an agency to perform these vital maintenance tasks.
Manage the outdoors. Sidewalks, parking lots, exterior ramps and staircases are common places for snow and ice to accumulate. In addition to clearing debris at major points of entry/exit, make sure these outdoor areas are kept clear and safe for all pedestrians. For additional tips and slip and fall safety standards, visit NFSI.org.
Survey outdoor surfaces. Sidewalk cracks and potholes can accumulate snow and ice, creating dangerous walking zones for pedestrians. Before the snow falls, take time to fill these areas in to prevent the problem before it occurs.
Review gutters. Although it might seem like a minor issue, a single leak in a rooftop gutter can cause an unintentional stream of water runoff to form dangerous puddles on walkways below. Make sure all gutters fit flush to one another, and inspect the gutter system for cracks or holes that need repaired.
Shine a light. Poor visibility is a big factor in many slip and fall accidents. Even when floors are dry and pristine, lack of proper lighting can increase the likelihood of an accidental trip and fall. Take a moment to examine all facility lights, especially those located at major points of entry and exit.
Improve stairway safety. The two biggest concerns for stairway safety are lighting and traction. Cover all the bases this winter by checking stairway lighting and replacing any bulbs that are burned out. Additionally, consider investing in rubber stair treads to create a layer of added traction.
Review your insurance coverage. Too often, insurance coverage isn’t fully examined until after a serious accident has occurred. Never wait until after an accident has happened to ask questions about your coverage. This winter, proactively contact your agent or agency to learn more about what your plan does and does not cover.
Invest in Winter Safety
Winter is a challenging and potentially dangerous time to operate. Snow, wind, ice, and storms throw unpredictable sets of challenges at business owners and property managers. Without a proactive safety plan, the risk of slip and fall accidents runs high. After reviewing the winter safety checklist above, evaluate current safety products and identify where floor mats, umbrella bag stands, and other essentials need updated or replaced.
For assistance in replacing worn-out mats and investing in other slip and fall prevention products, readers are invited to contact Eagle Mat and Floor Products at 877-333-1018 today.