When you manage a commercial property, you have a lot on your plate. It’s easy to understand how little things might not get your full attention.
That wobbly handrail, for instance. The place in the parking lot where water tends to pool. Those tree branches that hang especially low after a big snowfall.
But fall is the time to turn your attention to those little things. Because once you add winter’s full bluster of snow and ice, those little things can become big liabilities.
How To Avoid Slippery Business On Your Commercial Property
Slip-and-fall type accidents are the number one cause of injuries on both residential and commercial properties.
Once fall and winter move in, your once sunny sidewalks are covered with slippery fallen leaves, then snow and ice. The sidewalks and parking lots that seemed perfectly safe last summer can quickly turn dangerous.
Suddenly, your liability increases.
There are several things you can do with a number of areas of your property to reduce liability and improve risk management. Let’s take a look at seven timely pedestrian safety tips for commercial properties.
Inspect Sidewalks For Cracks
Sidewalks and exterior steps with cracks, loose chunks or crumbling mortar can become especially hazardous when covered with a layer of ice.
Make any necessary repairs before winter sets in.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, especially here in New York and Connecticut. But those stunning leaves eventually fall, littering sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.
Add rain, and you get a slippery mess.
It’s crucial to keep debris off public walkways, as leaves and twigs are especially hazardous when covered with snow.
Keep it clear.
Trim Tree Branches
Trim all large overhead branches that could buckle under heavy snowfall and cause damage. Proper pruning can improve the structural integrity of trees in anticipation of heavy snow, ice or winds while keeping your trees looking their best.
Inspect older trees regularly for weak or dead branches that could fall and injure people or damage buildings.
Don’t forget to look down. Pedestrians can trip on tree roots or on pavement that heaves up from intrusive roots underneath or extreme changes in temperature.
Check Your Water Drainage
Improper drainage — yawn — is one of those things that often takes a back seat to other pressing property needs. But it can cause all sorts of safety issues.
Be sure you have proper grading and drainage so standing water doesn’t turn into a slick of ice.
It works the other way, too — a patch of ice, when it melts, is a big puddle. Nobody wants to step out of their car into three inches of water in your parking lot.
Bring in drainage experts now if you suspect issues on your commercial property.
Inspect Handrails On Stairways
Now is the time to check any handrails on your property to make sure they haven’t been damaged over the summer and fall.
Remember, soon they’ll be supporting the weight of ice and snow. Your customers will depend on these handrails more than ever when there are leaves, snow or ice on the ground. Make any repairs now.
Check Your Outdoor Lighting
You might not give your property’s lighting much thought when it stays lit long into the evening.
But the days are getting shorter now. Lighting for safety is more important than ever.
Take a walk through your parking lot, paths and around your building.
Ask yourself this critical question: Does my lighting illuminate any potential hazards, including fallen leaves or patches of ice?
Make any needed adjustments now.
Next Up: Combating Snow And Ice
Once you’ve cleared common areas of fallen leaves, sticks and pine needles, you’ll need to keep them clear of snow and ice.
This is where hiring a trusted, experienced, insured and certified comes into play. From clearing sidewalks to deicing parking surfaces, keeping your property safe and accessible in the thick of a winter storm should be the top priority for property owners and managers.
Need To Remove Slip-And-Fall Risks This Winter? Leave It To Neave
While Neave Landscaping can stay on top of your property maintenance, Neave Snow and Ice Management can take over when the snow flies.
We’re experts in snow and ice removal, and in keeping commercial properties safe all winter long. We work with commercial property managers to create a fully customized snow and ice removal management plan that completely addresses all of your needs.
We’re a fully insured, ASCA-accredited, ISO 9001–certified service that offers the highest level of customer service. Our commitment to excellence made us one of Snow Magazine’s top 100 snow contractors in North America.
Don’t let Mother Nature take control of your commercial property. From fall maintenance to taming winter’s wrath, the experts at Neave know how to keep your property safe.
We’d love to hear from you. If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.
Images: Icy sign, Leaves on grass, Footprints in ice, Handrail sign