Winter weather can bring many hazards to commercial properties, with one of the most common – and potentially the most costly – being slip and fall accidents. Snow and ice can create treacherous conditions on walkways and parking lots, and it’s important for property managers and business owners to take steps to prevent accidents. Slip and falls accidents can easily lead to serious injuries such as sprained ankles or knees, head trauma, or worse. Here are some tips to help prevent slip and fall accidents on your commercial property:
5 Ways to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents on Your Commercial Property
Regularly Inspect the Property
Regular inspections of walkways and parking lots are essential to prevent slip and falls. Conduct regular inspections of outdoor areas to identify and address any hazards such as:
- Uneven or shifting pavement
- Cracks that may create tripping hazards
- Potholes or low areas where water can collect and form ice patches
- Damaged or uneven steps and ramps
- Loose handrails on steps, ramps, or elevated areas
Make sure to address any hazards immediately to reduce the risk of accidents to pedestrians, vehicles, or employees.
Clear Snow and Ice Quickly
One of the most important steps to prevent slip and fall accidents in winter is to quickly clear snow and ice from all outdoor walkways and parking lots. It’s crucial to keep these areas clear and safe for pedestrians and vehicles. Preemptive action is the best way to keep your property clear; using de-icers to pre-treat walkways and parking lots before it snows can prevent snow from accumulating and creating ice as it compacts or as temperatures drop even further overnight.
Use Slip-resistant Mats and Coatings
To provide additional traction on walkways and stairs, you can use slip-resistant mats or coatings. These materials can help prevent slips and falls, even in wet or icy conditions. Place slip-resistant mats in entryways and areas where water or ice may accumulate, and apply slip-resistant coatings to outdoor surfaces, such as stairs and ramps. A good set of winter mats should include:
- Durable exterior mats with a rough texture to easily remove large bits of snow, ice, and other debris
- An interior mat made from deep-pile carpet or rigid rubber to remove smaller particles
- A final absorbent mat for drying off footwear and preventing slippery conditions indoors
Provide Adequate Lighting
Poor lighting can lead to slip and falls and other accidents by obscuring hazardous conditions. This is especially true at night when black ice may be near impossible to spot without adequate lighting. Ensure that all outdoor areas, including walkways, parking lots, and entrances, have sufficient lighting and replace any burned-out bulbs immediately. It is also a good idea to install new lighting in areas that may be prone to hazards, and ensure that all switches and sensors are working properly.
Post Warning Signs
Post warning signs in areas where there may be a risk of slip and fall accidents, such as areas with uneven surfaces or where water may accumulate. These signs should be clearly visible and include information on how to avoid accidents. This will help raise awareness and reduce the risk of accidents. Warning signs are, however, just a visual aid to let pedestrians or vehicles know that hazards may be present; it’s essential to make any repairs or improvements necessary as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of accidents long-term.
Avoid Snow Storm Slip & Falls and Other Winter Liabilities with SMS
The best way to avoid winter hazards and risks is to have an experienced, professional snow removal contractor on standby. For over 25 years, Snow Management Services has been the go-to choice for hundreds of commercial properties and businesses in the Denver metro area. It all starts with winter property planning], taking the time to identify the most efficient way to keep your property clear and highlighting any possible trouble areas. Quick snow removal and de-icing are critical so that parking lots and sidewalks are clear in order to prevent winter accidents or injuries. Our team is committed to rapid response times during even the roughest winter weather. We can even haul snow off-site to keep your property presentable.