Old Man Winter is on his way, and with him, he brings the ice, snow and slush that make wintertime walking and driving dangerous. If you own a shop or storefront, you need to keep your employees, as well as your clients, safe from painful and dangerous falls while on your property. Not only will this save them from physical suffering, but it can save you from feeling the impact as your insurance rises due to a slip-and-fall claim. Before the first snow falls, be sure that you have the following fall protection measures in place.
Get a Contract for Ice and Snow Removal
Simply sprinkling salt or sand in your parking lot and hoping for the best is not an adequate way of dealing with slick, icy driving and walking conditions if you own a business. It's important to actually remove the ice and snow in advance of your store's opening time, explains Injury Claim Coach. Your customers and employees have the expectation that they'll be able to safely walk into your place of business at the time that they need to be there.
The best way to do this is to hire a contractor who will take care of the situation before your business opens on icy or snowy days. Ask local business who they use for this service and set up a contract now, before black ice becomes a problem.
Install Proper Matting
Once your employees or customers have safely navigated the parking lot or sidewalk, they will be entering your building. During the winter, not only will the soles of their shoes be wet, but they'll probably also be coated in sand or salt, both of which make a mess indoors and can become slippery. Prevent this muck from being distributed all over your building by installing proper matting.
Place heavy-duty mats outside, and be sure that they're long enough so that people do not have any choice but to take at least one step with each foot on the mat. Buy rubber-backed, slip-proof mats with beveled edges for just inside the door, too. Between these two mats, most of the dirt, grime and water should be shed before your employee or customer steps onto your floors.
It's important to keep the mats clean and in good repair so they can continue doing their job; if they get saturated with water and salt, they will become a hazard in themselves. Have your cleaning company care for the mats on a weekly basis, and do your part by vacuuming or shaking them out each day.
Brighten Up Your Lighting
With the sun setting earlier than you're used to, particularly after daylight savings time ends, corridors, stairways and entryways might not be as well-lit as you think they are. Check indoor and outdoor bulbs to be sure that none are dim. Also, check your timers; make sure that lights are turning on early enough to avoid leaving areas darkened as the sun begins to go down in the afternoon.
You can also install motion-detector lights to go on if you have employees or delivery people showing up early in the morning or after your facility is closed for the night. Don't limit these to outdoors-only; have them in staircases and hallways, too, so that people carrying packages won't have to fumble for a light switch.
Preventing slips and falls throughout the winter might take some forethought on your part, but it will be well worth the time and effort expended when it saves you from expensive workers' compensation claims and slip-and-fall lawsuits. Remember that it is your responsibility to keep your employees and customers as safe as possible and dealing with the hazards of ice and snow is just par for the course in the wintertime.