BLOG NUMBER 8.7
Hiring a Snow Expert Can Prevent Injuries and Avoid Costly Legal Cases
How many times have you said “I’ll get that issue taken care of first thing in the morning,” and the next morning ends up being too late?
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” And he knew about ice!
The mid-west is having it’s first appreciable snow, and hopefully everyone has prepared with salt, shovels, and snow blowers. But just as important are the plans to make it all come together so you have a safe, injury-free winter. Another great quote is “Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.”
So, how do business owners prepare a plan for avoiding slip and fall injuries due to snow and ice? It’s a good idea to check with your local authorities and see what ordinances and regulations they have on the books regarding your responsibilities. There may be sidewalks and parking areas that you do not own, but you may be responsible for keeping them free of snow and ice. You may want to ask a snow expert for an audit of your property. This may not necessarily be inexpensive but in the long run the peace-of-mind will make it worthwhile.
A snow expert is the person to research and understand laws pertaining to liability in your location, both local and state. An inspection of your property may be in order to asses any outstanding issues with regard to hazardous conditions. Are your employees aware of who is responsible for each task? Shoveling, salt, etc? There must be a posted schedule and checklist and it must be followed. Failure to do so is leaving the door open for injuries and lawsuits.
Keep in mind that people may walk on to your property and slip on ice. A delivery person may slip on the sidewalk as they come to your front door, so be aware that all reasonable measures must be taken to avoid possible claims for damages should someone become injured.
Most people tend to put their hands in their pockets when it’s cold. But try to keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands out of your pockets while walking lowers your center of gravity and increases balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
Here’s another tip: Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
The Mayo Clinic prepared a video which offers some excellent tips for walking on ice and snow, and it is below.
Jeremy Swenson has been the owner of one of the largest snow-removal companies in the mid-west United States for over 15 years, and he has seen it all when it comes to snowy and icy conditions and the way they can have a negative impact on automobile and pedestrian traffic. He is experienced in creating plans for businesses and homeowners and he also assists with after-the-fact situations when the expertise of a snow expert is needed for investigations regarding causation and liability. Jeremy is a big believer in being prepared early.
If you would like the help of a certified snow expert to keep your home or business safe, or you need the expertise of an experienced expert witness in a legal case, please reach out to Mr. Jeremy Swenson by calling 816-564-9131.
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