Snow and Ice Removal Advice for Risk Management

February 17, 2024

As winter brings chill and snowfall to their property owners, new challenges emerge. While serene landscapes might evoke peaceful images, accumulations of snow and ice pose significant threats of damage and injury. Reducing snow and ice removal risks with efficient snow plowing is key to protecting property values, protecting tenants' and visitors' well-being, avoiding liability issues, and maintaining peace of mind throughout wintery conditions. Here at SummitCover, we recognize this necessity - this post contains comprehensive snow and ice removal advice for risk management that can help to navigate winter with confidence and ease!

Assess Your Risks: Defining the Scope of the Challenge

Before engaging in any specific removal tactics, it's essential to assess any risks to your property and the possible outcomes from that effort. Consider such aspects as:

  1. Location: Different regions have differing snowfall amounts and freezing temperatures that exacerbate risk.
  2. Property Types: Residential, commercial, and industrial properties each have specific snow and ice removal regulations in place which must be observed to comply.
  3. Accessibility: Ensuring clear access points for emergency responders, mail or delivery workers and handicapped individuals is of utmost importance. 
  4. Drainage: Improper drainage can exacerbate icy conditions leading to flooding if left unaddressed - improper drainage also contributes to slippery floors which leads to more injuries on foot!
  5. Roof Structures: Accumulated snow may pose structural risks for roofs, necessitating swift removal.

Consulting with an expert familiar with local regulations and your unique property layout can provide invaluable insights, aiding in the formation of an effective risk management plan tailored to you and your needs.

Read more: Do you need insurance for snow removal?

Building an Efficient Defense: Implementing Snow and Ice Removal Strategies

Once your vulnerabilities have been assessed, the next step should be implementing an effective snow and ice removal strategy. Here are key areas of focus.

1. Produce an Effective Snow Removal Plan

  • Outline who is accountable for snow removal tasks, their frequency, and priority areas. 
  • Establish communication procedures to inform residents/tenants about impending storms/removal schedules in advance.
  • Determine the necessary resources, including equipment, supplies, and personnel. 
  • Consider professional snow removal services if your property is particularly large or complex.

2. Prioritize Safety

  • Provide employees or contractors with appropriate safety gear such as warm clothing, waterproof boots, and ergonomic shovels. 
  • Utilize safe shoveling techniques designed to avoid injuries such as lifting with legs instead of twisting motions while taking frequent breaks between shoveling sessions.
  • Make sure that there is sufficient lighting in areas where snow removal occurs, particularly early morning or evening hours.

3. Tackle Snow Promptly

  • Regularly clear away snow to avoid accumulation and ice formation - don't wait until storm season has passed to start clearing away snow!
  • Before taking action to clear away storm debris from critical areas like walkways, entrances/exits/emergency access points/parking lots, etc, focus your removal efforts first on these priority spots.
  • Remove snow from rooftops to avoid structural damage and ice damming that could result in leaks and water damage, or lead to leakage of plumbing pipes and possible flooding of basements and cellars.

4. Tackle Icy Conditions

  • After snow removal, apply de-icing solutions like de-icers or sand/salt mixtures as de-icers on walkways and stairs using extra caution not to cause harm to vegetation while encouraging further refreezes.
  • Regularly clear icicles from gutters and eaves to prevent them from falling and causing injury or damage.

5. Maintain Your Equipment

  • All snow removal equipment must be regularly serviced to ensure optimal performance and safety during use. 
  • Storing them correctly throughout winter ensures easy accessibility when necessary.

6. Document Everything

  • Maintain an inventory of snow removal activities including dates, times, and areas cleared 
  • Record any weather-related events as well as accumulation levels of snowfall
  • Keep records on de-icing materials used and any training conducted with personnel.

Proactive Strategies to Guarantee an Undistressed Winter Season

  • Adopt Preventative Measures: Install heated walkways or mats in high-traffic areas to minimize ice buildup and gutter guards to thwart potential ice dam formation.
  • Stay Informed: Subscribe to weather alerts and warnings to anticipate impending storms and adjust your removal plan accordingly.
  • Communicate Clearly: Provide tenants or occupants with information regarding snow removal protocols and set expectations regarding their participation.
  • Prepare for Emergencies: Stash away supplies like de-icing materials, salt, and sand in advance in case of emergencies like power outages or equipment breakdown. Also, prepare a contingency plan if these occur.

Proactive snow and ice removal is crucial in avoiding costly consequences, using these practical Snow and Ice Removal Advice for Risk Management with comprehensive insurance from SummitCover can ensure an easier winter season for everyone on your property, protecting everyone's wellbeing in the process.

Mitigating Potential Liabilities with Insurance Protection

Even with effective risk management measures in place, accidents still happen unexpectedly. SummitCover provides tailored snow removal insurance in Canada, tailored to suit the unique needs of property owners to give them peace of mind during the winter season. By creating and executing an organized snow and ice removal risk management plan, you can protect your property, enhance occupants' safety, and limit any liability concerns that might arise in the winter months. 

Implementation of strategies provided in such plans paired with reliable insurance providers such as SummitCover will equip you with everything needed for the navigation of winter seasons safely and successfully!

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