West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

5 Tips for Winterizing Your Business

Snow and ice can cause unsafe conditions and financial headaches. Here's how to prepare.

By - Dec 1st, 2018 12:12 pm
5 Tips for Safer Winter Parking Lots and Walkways

5 Tips for Safer Winter Parking Lots and Walkways

While it can create a frosty wonderland and provide the perfect setting for a day of sledding or snowman building, winter can also turn the sidewalks and driveways surrounding your business into hazardous areas.

As a business owner, snow and ice can mean liabilities beyond your day-to-day business, like accidents in the parking lot. Weather-related incidents, including vehicle-to-vehicle accidents, vehicle-to-building/property accidents, or slips and falls by customers and vendors can all have unforeseen negative consequences to your business if you’re not prepared for them.

Most often, proprietors are prepared to maintain the main (usually front) customer parking and walking areas, removing snow from sidewalks and parking lots; however, the rear and side walkways and parking lots of your business are often neglected. These are more commonly used by employees and delivery vendors and where the most serious injuries can occur, potentially opening your business to lawsuits or impacting your workers’ compensation insurance costs.

To ensure the proper maintenance procedures are in place and up to date, here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Ensure you’re training your most reliable, dependable people to be responsible for maintaining those areas.
  2. Inspect all snow removal equipment, maintain it if needed, and make sure you have enough salt and sand on hand to cover unexpected snowfalls or cold temps.
  3. If you hire a subcontractor to remove snow at your business, review the contract expectations for the snow depth specifications, emergency call procedures, and responsibility for secondary areas like loading docks, sidewalks, and side emergency doors.
  4. Remind your employees to wear proper footwear during inclement weather. Keep extra floor mats and use them when needed for wet and slippery floors inside your place of business.

Planning for winter safety is smart, not only ensuring the safety of your employees, customers, and neighbors, but also reducing your risk as a business owner.

For more tips on winterizing your business and other helpful tips, or to be connected with an independent insurance agent, visit thesilverlining.com.

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