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Know Your Responsibilities When it Comes to Snow and Ice Removal

snow and ice removal

The role of a commercial property owner is laden with significant duties and obligations, never more so than in the wintertime, when creating a safe environment for tenants, tenants’ clientele, and all other visitors becomes critical in the face of hazardous weather.

Snow and ice removal throughout the Mid-Atlantic, particularly Maryland and New Jersey, is practically a way of life once December arrives. Ensuring one’s property is easily, and safely, accessible by the public is integral to operating a successful business.

Walkways, pathways, parking lots, steps, stairways, and entrances can become obstructed with snow, and covered with ice, yielding incredible potential for slips, falls, and injuries – and subsequent litigation.

As a property owner, it is your responsibility to research your state laws and city ordinances regarding snow and ice removal, including who is responsible – tenant or landlord or both – and how soon snow is required to be cleared after the final snowflake drops. In many cases, clearing these areas within 24 hours of a snow event is the sole responsibility of the property owner.

But consider this: As a responsible proprietor, how would you address any other hazard – say, a fire or a downed electrical wire – if it occurred at your property? The task of snow and ice removal should always be given the same attention.

Be prepared prior to a snow event with the following tips:

• Create a plan for action, and work your plan. Establish policies for closures, early dismissals, delayed openings, and more. Place weather mats at all entrances and position warning signs at highly-trafficked areas throughout your property. Contact your snow and ice removal contractor to confirm the details of your agreement, from services to be provided to estimated response time, and beyond.

• Notify all building tenants, occupants, and employees that they should immediately report weather-related hazards and obstructions to management or to the property owner, directly.

• Record all snow and ice removal activity, including date, time, when the contractor arrived and left, how much snow was removed, and more. This information can lend defense in the event of a lawsuit stemming from an injury sustained on your property.

GroundsCare Landscape has been helping commercial property owners dig themselves out from underneath frozen landscapes for years. Our team of landscape maintenance professionals can take care of the ice and snow at your property so that you can concentrate on line items that are truly important.

Call us today at 888-588-8451.

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