Snow and Ice: Two of the Greatest Liabilities You Face

Bluegrass snow plow truckNo, Snow and Ice is not a power ballad from a ‘70’s progressive rock band.  They are two of the biggest liabilities property owners face every winter. Even a slight coating of snow could cause someone to slip and fall and get a back, neck, or shoulder injury, fractured bones, joint dislocation, concussion, muscle strain, or bruises.  The average cost of an injury caused slipping and falling on an icy or snowy pathway or other surface is $33,000 per claim and $48,000 for Workers Comp claims.  If you’re an older adult or someone who has mobility issues, you are more likely to slip and fall on ice, and the injuries are often more serious and can result in needed surgery, permanent injuries, and possibly death.


As a property owner, you are responsible for ensuring that every time Mother Nature decides to blow a storm your way, your walkways and parking lots are cleared of snow and properly treated for ice in order to prevent slips and falls.  This means that snow removal is completely up to you.  You clear snow, you treat ice, you pay hospital bills, you pay lawsuit damages.  With 90% of all walkway injuries occurring in less than 1 inch of snow, snow removal and treatment of ice must be thorough and meticulous.

If you take care of the snow removal and ice treatment for your commercial property, by law, it is your responsibility to make sure you have done due diligence.  Essentially, this means you have to take reasonable care to clear the snow and ice to the best of your abilities. Of course, you won’t be able to pick up every snowflake, but you need to do your best so your customers are not forced to walk on an icy walkway.

What You Can Do

Storms can happen any time, day or night, and being responsible for making your paths safe whenever storms happen can add a lot of stress to your life.  The good news is that it’s easy to relieve yourself of that pressure. If you hire a professional, safety-conscious snow removal company to do the clearing for you, the liability is transferred to them.  The snow removal company assumes legal responsibility for ensuring safe passage which means if someone slips on an icy patch that they failed to clear but reasonably should have, the snow removal company is responsible for any hospital bills and lawsuits that may happen as a result.  With a contract in place for commercial snow removal services, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders.

Of course, having a snow removal contractor do the work isn’t just a matter of passing the buck.  Sure, you don’t want to pay money for liability of a fall but if an employee falls and has to miss work, you’re losing money in lost productivity.

In reality, you’re not looking for a snow removal contractor that will assume financial responsibility, you’re looking for one who will do a professional and thorough job so no one gets hurt in the first place.

What To Look For

First of all, good snow removal companies go fast, so the best time to find one is during the summer months when snow is the last thing on your mind.  They need time to order supplies before winter weather arrives and having them take the time to view your property before it snows is always helpful.

Your snow removal company should have the right equipment which will be a variety of large trucks, snow plows, payloaders, dozers, snowblowers, as well as crews with shovels.  They should also understand which deicer to use and when to use it. Just a 1° drop in temperature can cause a sidewalk to ice over and become dangerous.  A good snow removal company uses a weather-monitoring service as a predictive tool so they can make the right decision for servicing your property to ensure it is safe and ready to open for business.

At Bluegrass, we provide all of these tools for our customers and more.  Our fully dedicated staff is always ready to tackle storms, big or small, to make sure your property is safe for operation.  It may not be too late to protect yourself with a commercial snow removal contract.  Call Bluegrass today at (314)770-2828 to discuss our snow removal services.