It's vital to protect your practice year-round, but the unpredictable winter months can be especially challenging. Here are ten tips to help minimize risks as the temperatures drop.
Posted in Articles on Thursday, January 25, 2024
Snowstorms, freezing temperatures and brutal winds can make it difficult for everyone to get around. As a business owner, you have an added responsibility to help avoid weather-related problems like slips and falls, frozen and burst water pipes, roof issues and more.
Keep a winter checklist to revisit each year and add to it as needed. Here are some items to get you started:
- Keep sidewalks, parking lots, entries, and exits clear of snow and ice. It’s not a one-and-done task. Check often.
- If someone plows your parking lot, make sure snow piles don’t obstruct visibility for those driving or walking.
- If you have trees on your business property, watch for fallen or damaged branches after storms. Even small ones can be a tripping hazard.
- During winter storms, monitor snow accumulation and take appropriate measures if it threatens to exceed the roof’s capacity.
- Look up. Keep the roof clear of falling snow and icicles.
- When the snow starts to melt, watch for freezing temperatures and dangerous patches of ice. Maintain and use a supply of sand, salt, or ice melt as necessary.
- Use moisture absorbent rugs and mats at entries and exits to reduce slip and fall risk. Make sure the edges are secure.
- Keep your building temperature at a minimum of 55 degrees and have a professional regularly maintain any water handling systems.
- Avoid using space heaters if possible, as they can pose a variety of risks.
- Talk with your staff about potential winter-related hazards. They can help keep things under control and alert you of any real problems.
One More Step
Even with the best risk management in the winter, accidents and unforeseen events can happen. The right insurance can help provide a cozy layer of protection.
Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
A business owner’s policy has four types of protection in one tidy package. It includes insurance for: property, general liability, product liability and business interruption. So, if someone slips on the ice or you have to close your office for a few days or weeks (due to a covered claim), BOP can help.
Workers’ Compensation insurance
This insurance is required in many states, and includes two types of coverage. First, it provides benefits for employees injured while working. Second, it protects employers who are sued for a work-related injury or illness. Even if it’s not required in your state, it’s valuable protection to consider.
Are you ready to help protect your practice or review your current policy? Grab a cup of cocoa and contact an NCMIC Insurance Services agent today. Call us or email email@example.com.