As we enjoy the warmer weather, winter snow and ice removal are no longer a priority. However, this is a good time to perform a preseason site inspection on the properties you regularly service and perform snow and ice removal. Performing a yearly preseason site inspection is a beneficial documentation process that can save you headaches and money in the future. It will also help present your business as a serious, professional snow and ice removal company. Setting you apart from other competitors in the industry.
Acquiring an overhead photo or detailed drawing of the property is extremely important. An overhead property map of the area can also help identify property risks that may not be identifiable during heavy snow accumulation. A property map should be marked with the following:
- Areas involving potential risk
- Areas with existing damage
- Places where plowed snow should be placed
- Places where snow must be plowed
All services your business performs should be clearly defined and documented. This is important when making proper snow and ice removal decisions for each property. It also ensures that you and the property owner clearly understand what is to be done in the upcoming season.
Hazard and Damage Risk Assessment:
Identifying and having a clear understanding of any existing and potential hazards on a property should be documented. Any potential damage during winter snow removal operations should be communicated with your client so you both have a clear understanding of what to do in the event of any damage made. Identifying potential hazards that can cause injury or illness is particularly important when performing a preseason site inspection. Some potential hazard and damage risks include, but are not limited to:
- Retaining walls
- Low-hanging structures
- Storm drains
- Existing property damage
- Debris left on the property
Snow Placement & Disposal:
There should be written documentation where the property manager indicates where the snow should be placed. Snow should be placed in a way that does not block any traffic on the property or other properties and does not unnecessarily obstruct views.
In some cases, snow may need to be removed from a property. Disposing of snow means relocating or removing the snow from a property. It must also be documented where and how the snow is being relocated. It would help if you also noted when the snow disposal will take place. If you cannot dispose of snow during a property’s operating hours, this must also be clearly defined in the documentation.
As snow is unpredictable at times, recording the operation hours of the business(es) on the property is extremely important. Your snow removal team should know when there will be activity on the property, which will help you make better servicing decisions during an event.
Correct documentation is essential to your business and the property with which you work. Revisit each property before the winter begins so you can be prepared for anything that may happen in the future.