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Winter weather has arrived and the hazards of snow and ice are more of a threat to small business owners than they may realize.

When snow and ice accumulate, customers, employees, and the general public are all at risk of slipping and falling on your property. An injury on your premises could pose a serious liability concern.

So what should you as a business owner do to make your property safer and mitigate the risk of someone getting hurt this winter?

Here are some tips that may help limit that risk.

Be proactive

Clear walkways, parking lots, and entrances before you open for business. Remove snow from fire hydrants and exit doors. As an additional precaution, clear storm drains so the water from melting snow can drain freely.

Mark hydrants, drains, and other items with reflective stakes prior to snowfall so you can easily locate and clear them in the event of heavy accumulation.

Make sure to keep up with the conditions as the day goes by. Re-clear and treat walkways, lots, and entrances for any additional snow or ice.

Think of employee safety

If employees will be helping with snow removal, give them adequate breaks to rest and warm up. Anyone using equipment such as a snow blower or plow should be properly trained.

Private entrances and parking should also be cleared so your staff is not at risk.

Make inside-safety a priority too 

Keep floors dry and safe to walk on. This is especially a concern in entranceways where patrons and employees are bound to track in melted snow.

Periodically wipe up and dry any excess snow and ice that is tracked in. Set mats down at entrances so folks can dry their shoes before entering the building. As the day goes by, replace mats as they will become saturated.

If mats get bunched up or wrinkled, un-crease them immediately, as they pose a tripping hazard. Don’t use mats or runners that slide, since they can also cause someone to slip.


 We hope these suggestions help you maintain a low-risk site for all who come in and out of your business this winter.

Reach out to your insurance agency or company if you have questions about your general liability policy or have other questions about your insurance.

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