Illinois winters can be brutal as the conditions increase the rate of slip and fall accidents. Inadequate or improper snow removal can be one of the contributing factors. The following tips regarding snow and ice removal as well as property management when it comes to winter weather should be considered:
- If you are a business that handles your own snow and ice removal, ensure your personnel are trained and know that they should remove the snow and ice from all sidewalks and parking lots.
- After all removal is completed, all areas should be adequately salted.
- Stay attuned to local weather reports as well as your jurisdiction’s specific requirements for snow and ice removal.
- Make sure any patrons are put on notice to be cautious as they traverse to and from your building. Encourage safety measures while walking and driving.
- Be aware of the differing ice melting products. Some rock salts are an inexpensive cost for certain paved areas, but they are ineffective for concrete as they cause damage to the structure and leave ground uneven in later months. Avoid the use of pellets in high-traffic areas, as persons can roll their feet over them.
- If you are engaging a snow removal company, ensure you review the contract so that it has a proper “scope of work” detailed within it. It should always include a certificate of insurance naming your business and the business owner’s name as an additional insured.
- Keep proper records of all snow and ice removal activity, whether by contractor or in-house. These documents can be helpful later down the line should someone claim your business is negligent.
- Check on your furnaces and boiler systems by getting check-ups now and minimizing heat loss by sealing cracks in windows and doors. Buildings should be kept at a minimum of 55°F at all times (be sure to check local codes should your jurisdiction require higher temperatures).
During this pandemic, it is easy to lose sight on how day-to-day weather impacts your business. Tressler LLP recognizes that each business has diverse needs. We are available to help you develop a plan or policy, evaluate your business records, and otherwise assist you. I invite you to drop me a line to share your experiences. It helps both of us to brainstorm on creative problem solving. Feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (312) 627-4052.
ABOUT MATTHEW J. O'MALLEY
Matt O’Malley is an associate attorney in Tressler's Litigation Practice Group and a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He serves as general counsel to various HOA/condo associations, restaurants and other small businesses and advises his clients on risk assessment and litigation strategies. Matt has a track record of success in both bench and jury trials. He focuses on the client’s resolution goals, whether that is achieved through trial, settlement conference, mediation or arbitration. Matt serves his clients in a variety of complex litigated and non-litigated matters, including actions for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, indemnity and contribution, professional malpractice, community association law, personal injury, general corporate, LGBTQ issues, employment discrimination and civil rights violations.
ABOUT TRESSLER LLP
Tressler LLP is a national law firm headquartered in Chicago, with eight offices located in five states - California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Tressler attorneys are experienced counselors and advocates who appear in state and federal courts, and in governmental proceedings, throughout the United States. Many Tressler attorneys devote their practice to the representation of the insurance industry in coverage analysis and resolution, litigation, underwriting consultation, product development, claims management and reinsurance. Tressler attorneys also represent clients in commercial litigation, employment, local government law, corporate transactions and intellectual property law. Contact us to learn more.