Although not everyone is convinced of Farmers Almanac’s predictions that Winter 2014/2015 will see three-quarters of the United States experiencing below-average temperatures, Winter 2013/ 2014 should be a warning.
That means every facility needs to start preparing. The work of grounds maintenance personnel, maintenance directors, maintenance technicians, and others is critical in keeping the grounds clean and safe. Products such as the snow melting mats from HeatTrak are ideal for preventing slips and falls which can lead to serious injuries and costly lawsuits.
Hospitals, senior care centers, and universities, among any public facility, are extremely vulnerable when it comes to any injury on premise. You do not only have to protect staff, managers, and executives, but also visitors and pedestrians. There are no “snow days”. Your operations personnel must keep things going, even if it starts snowing at 2:00am.
So how do you keep your facilities operating after heavy snowstorms?
Melt the Snow and Ice on the Spot. Portable and affordable, the outdoor heating mats prevent snow and ice from accumulating while avoiding the need to shovel. They are an effective way to avoid slip and fall accidents as well.
Heavy duty versions are great for facilities. Options include the electrically heated HeatTrak® Industrial Snow-Melting Walkway Mat. It can stand up to heavy foot traffic. A stair mat is also available so people can safely navigate stairs. These products help avoid liability by melting any slippery ice. The work of your maintenance people is simplified, rather than risking a shut down due to the snow.
Some may object to the outdoor heated mats. They may perceive them and the cords as a tripping hazard. There may be added costs as electricians may have to rewire outlets. Many of these concerns are quickly eliminated though once a facility understands that the safety aspects of the mats have been addressed by HeatTrak® and the long term cost savings that these mats provide far outweigh the initial investment and potential law suits that could arise from slip and fall victims.
Other Tips on Winter Preparation In addition to installing outdoor heated mats here are some other tips that will help protect thousands of people daily at your facilities.
Snow Removal Plan of Action: A detailed plan will ensure everyone is ready should a snow event threaten the area. To establish such a plan:
- Identify snow removal personnel. It should be clear who is available during an emergency. A call-out list will get essential personnel on-site when the plan is activated.
- Prioritize key areas, so crews know where to start. Classify areas such as sidewalks, roadways, maintenance facilities, building entrances, parking lots, and others.
- Designate a supervisor and others in the chain of command.
- Before the season starts, make sure all motorized equipment is functional, snow plows are repaired if necessary, and that equipment such as shovels, flares, cones, tow straps, and ice melt are on board.
Purchase Snow Removal Equipment: Removing snow comes at a cost. While equipment can eat into the operational budget, sometimes there’s no way around it. You’ll have to make valuable purchases and possibly make considerations such as financing options.
Snow plows are extremely versatile. They can move large piles of heavy material, plus, there are many different types. Other than waiting for a snow melt, the following varieties will help you get the job done.
- Straight plows
- Snow Pushers
Snow Removal Service: Research and inquire on such services early, while looking at factors such as reputation, equipment, and procedures. Some companies will meet with you to formulate a plan for when a storm hits. Professional snow removal services are beneficial in that expert technicians can manage the snow on the ground, on roofs, etc. so you don’t have as much concern for your team’s safety. After all, your team has enough to do, such as maintain floors and air conditioning/heating systems.
If you’re in charge of maintaining facilities such as schools, hospitals, or even an oil rig or commercial architecture firm, winter is a stressful time. Follow these tips to get your preparation underway, and when in need of a quick solution that won't be back breaking don’t forget about HeatTrak’s® state-of-the-art heating mats.