Winter Safety Essentials
Facility managers are faced with different challenges during the winter season. Maintaining a facility's grounds for patients, visitors, staff, and vehicles is one of a facility manager's primary objectives. Labor is one of the biggest costs of winter maintenance, and prevention of slip and fall accidents is a priority. When snow and ice accumulate on surfaces, the potential for dangerous slip and fall accidents and indoor/outdoor property damage greatly increase.
To minimize risks to visitors, staff, and property, Home Depot Pro has compiled a list of tips to ensure your facility and staff are prepared for winter's worst.
Know your property
- Identify existing risk areas.
- Repairing pre-existing surface damage can prevent a slip or fall.
- Install signage notifying pedestrians of commonly slippery areas.
- Keep ice melt on hand and pre-treat at-risk areas BEFORE a forecasted storm hits.
- Apply ice melt products in anticipation of snow and ice to help prevent snow from bonding to the surface.
- Ensure winter weather wear and cold-temp gloves are readily available to keep your staff safe and productive.
Understand your facility needs and goals
- When choosing an ice melt compound for your facility, choose the one that best meets your goals. For example, high traffic facilities should look for a fast-acting ice melt to ensure walkways remain safe when subfreezing temperatures persist. If controlling cost is your goal, choose a value brand.
- Take careful stock of your ice melt inventory, and ensure you have plenty of ice melt and removal accessories on hand to last through the season. It’s always better to have more than you need on hand to ensure your facility continues to operate smoothly and safely in the event of an extended winter weather event.
Review the impact
- Examine the impact different deicers have on exterior walkway surfaces, interior surfaces, and the surrounding environmental features or landscaping. Patch and seal sidewalks and steps prior to and post winter weather to keep tenants and visitors safe.
- Choose environmentally friendly and pet friendly ice melt options to keep plants and animals safe on your facility’s grounds.
Keep entries and lobby floors clean and dry
- Install entrance matting to protect facility flooring, reduce wet floor issues, and, most importantly, reduce slip and fall accidents.
- Ensure mats and interior floor areas are kept clean and dry throughout the day.
- Remove slush, debris and ice melt residue from entry and lobby floors with ice melt removers, mops and floor cleaners.