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Make Sure That Your Snow/Ice Removal is on “P.A.R.”

Woman walking on snowy sidewalk in evening

Managing the risks will help avoid the risks.
Here are some best practices to follow.

Preparation

Establish a Maintenance Committee to:

  • Consider hiring a third party snow/ice removal contractor, in which case they must:
    • Make sure that the company is fully insured and that your organization is added to their policy as an “Additional Insured”
    • Establish clear terms of service: daily, weekly, or as needed
    • Have the contractor provide your organization with a record or log of all snow/ice removal activities undertaken, including dates and times
  • Determine the role of volunteers to either:
    1. Watch for inclement weather and call third party contractors, in which case, they must:
      • Make sure that volunteers have the contractor’s contact details
      • Post the contractor’s phone number on your premises in a visible area
      • Appoint a back-up volunteer
    2. Undertake snow removal themselves
  • Establish clearly defined dos and don’ts for maintenance staff and/or volunteers who will be handling snow/ice removal. For example: in order to prevent accidents, prohibit working on a roof to remove snow.
  • Make sure that there are adequate supplies of salt, sand, and ice melt products
  • Ensure that shovels and supplies are in good working order and in an easily accessible place for maintenance staff and/or volunteers
  • Have ice barriers installed on metal roof systems to reduce snow load sliding
  • Have eaves troughs installed so that they are properly fitted to the building; have them inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure they will not overfill in melting conditions

Action

  • Clear snow/ice on walkways, footpaths, stairs, ramps and other common foot traffic areas
  • Make sure that downspouts and water collection containers are placed away from footpaths
  • Apply additional salt, sand or ice melt to shady areas or areas where ice is likely to form — e.g. snow piles, tree canopies, building overhangs, downspouts that do have a footpath in the vicinity, and parking lot areas that are prone to ice build-up
  • Inspect railings, stairs, ramps and other common foot traffic areas to ensure they are in good condition
  • Inspect sidewalk blocks to ensure there are no tripping hazards or profile differences greater than 1/8th inch
  • Make sure that snow and ice are cleared before visitors arrive for a scheduled event

Record Keeping

  • Record all deficiencies found during inspection along with the dates of maintenance/repair
  • Keep a snow removal log
  • Complete an incident report form in all cases where a slip, trip or fall has been reported

The above best practices are intended as a general assistance document. There may be unique circumstances that affect a particular property. In such cases, additional actions may be required.

This advice or information is provided in good faith and is based upon our understanding of current law and practice. Neither Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc nor its subsidiaries accepts any liability whatsoever for any errors or omissions which may result in injury, loss or damage, including consequential or financial loss. It is the responsibility of the Insured or any other person to ensure that they comply with their statutory obligations and any interpretation or implementation of the above is at the sole discretion of the Insured or other party who may read these notes.


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