Do You Have a Snow and Ice Management Plan?
Do You Have a Snow and Ice Management Plan?
Snow and ice are dangerous to walk on. In fact, slip/trip/fall (STF) incidents cost $15 billion dollars in direct costs each year. The average STF pedestrian incident costs $18,000-30,000 while the average workers comp claim is $25,000-40,000 an incident. That is a lot of money to lose if you don’t have a snow and ice management plan that works.
What Snow and Ice Management Plan Do I Need
Different properties need different plans. For commercial properties, you need a comprehensive plan for managing walkways and other hardscapes that see a lot of traffic. This plan needs to take into account the general hours of operation, high traffic days and times, shift change, and problem areas that cause a lot of accidents. Residential properties include HOAs, apartment and condominium complexes, and senior living complexes. Depending on the activity level of the place, you will need to decide whether to clear snow and ice from the walkways or just the streets or driveways.
Preparing The Request For Bids
Unless you are part of a huge network of businesses, you probably do not have the resources to do snow and ice removal yourself. That means hiring a company to do it for you is your best plan. In order to get a good contractor for snow and ice removal, you need to spend some time on your request for bids. Here are some items to consider.
Response expectations Where do you expect the contractor to clear the snow and ice? How soon after the storm begins do you expect this to happen? You need to spell this out in detail. It helps to have a list of priority sites, such as emergency exits, so the contractor knows what to do first.
Personnel And Equipment Allocation
What personnel will be allocated to removing your snow and ice? What equipment will they have at their disposal? Will the same person be clearing your property each time? If the contractor does not have the personnel and equipment to service your property in a timely manner, find someone who does.
Will the contractor help you mark curbs, fire hydrants, speed bumps, the edge of the pavement, and other obstacles before the snow? These markers tell the personnel operating the snowplow areas to avoid driving on. You do not want a snowplow to knock over a fire hydrant in the middle of a storm.
Getting In Contact
Will you have the number of someone to call that is available 24 hours a day? You need to be able to reach the contractor personnel on duty to trigger snow removal or in an emergency. If you can’t reach someone all the time, find another contractor.
Pre-Staging Equipment And Materials
Will the contractor leave equipment and materials at your site so they can begin working sooner after a snow event? If they do not have the equipment to pre-stage, you need to assure yourself they will have enough equipment available to begin removing snow and ice promptly after the snow event.
What Should Be In The Contract
Everything the snow and ice management contractor and you will do needs to be written down in clear language. Remember, if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist.
- A site-specific plan with diagrams
- The means, materials, and methods for snow and ice removal
- A diagram of the property to be serviced, with fire hydrants, curbs, speed bumps, emergency exits, and access to utilities all marked
- Where, if anywhere, the snowplow can push the snow until they can remove it
- Clear trigger events such as when to pre-treat, when to run the snowplow across the parking lot, and other things the contractor will do
- A current general liability insurance certificate
- A current workers’ comp insurance certificate
Types Of Snow and Ice Management Plans
When picking a vendor, it is important to look at the fee structure of the contract. There are four types of contracts that you will see most often based on what triggers the snow and ice removal and how much it costs.
Fixed Fee Contract
This contract is becoming more common due to the wild weather that has been happening. You pay the contractor a flat fee for the year and the contractor removes all the snow and ice. This works out better for the contractor in a light snow year. It benefits the property owner in a heavy snow year. In either case, you know how much snow and ice removal will cost you and can budget accordingly. If you sign this kind of contract, make sure you list the services before, during, and after the storm that are covered.
Time And Materials Contract
This is just what it says. You pay only for the time and the materials used on your property. This can be cheaper or more expensive than a fixed contract, but you can’t be certain how much to budget for the year. You also need to qualify the company well as an inexperienced or unskilled employee can take a lot longer to accomplish the task of removing the snow and ice than a more experienced operator does.
Per Push Contract
This is sort of a cross between the previous contracts. You pay a set amount per snow occurrence. You know the maximum amount each snow event will cost you, but you don’t know how many snow events there will be in a given year.
Per Inch Contract
This contract sets fees and services by the amount of snow accumulated in a storm. Be sure the contract lists not just services but materials to be used for each range of accumulation.
It is always a good idea to let a lawyer that specializes in contracts look through any contract before you sign it. They should catch anything that puts you at a disadvantage and discuss it with you. You can then decide to live with it, remove it, or renegotiate it.
After you have worked through the items in this article, you will be ready to choose a contractor. Before you do, be sure and talk to us at All Metro Service Companies, LLC. We are very experienced at snow and ice removal for all types of properties. When you contact us, you will be paired with an experienced account manager who will work out all the details for your property. We charge fair prices and have an excellent track record. Call All Metro Service Companies, LLC at 763-789-4788 today and get started on your snow and ice management plan.
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