Facility Management

ASCA Industry Standards for Snow and Ice Management

ASCA Industry Standards for Snow and Ice Management

ASCA Industry Standards for Snow and Ice Management

One major tool that facility managers can avail themselves of is the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) and their "legal defense mechanism" known as the
System Requirements for Snow and Ice Management Services, or more simply- the Industry Standards. These standards were developed by the ASCA in response to the heavy litigation that facility management teams and other snow and ice managers face, for the purpose of helping them reduce and manage the risks associated with winter weather and snow and ice removal tasks.

The Industry Standards

The industry standards are the first pillar on which the ASCA was founded, the other three being snow industry certification, a quality management system, and a commitment to work for legislative protections against frivolous lawsuits.

The industry standards explain the procedures to be followed to avoid a lawsuit as well as how to document those procedures to provide evidence for a defense in court. The standards are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is the foremost accreditation entity in the United States. ASCA's standards are the first such set of written standards to exist for the snow management industry, and it took more than two  years of work to develop them.

Some of the topics covered in the standards include:

Snow Industry Certification

Annually renewed ASCA certification, gained by passing 10 hours of ASCA educational courses, essentially acts as proof that your staff has been educated on the details of safe snow and ice removal. Certification means you know how to conduct yourself in accordance with the industry standards in the course of your snow and ice removal duties. Over 300 entities have already earned ASCA certification, and they have gained a marketing advantage as well as the valuable knowledge itself.

ASCA courses can be taken online on a 24/7 basis and presently only cost $15 per course, making them readily available to all who wish to use them. Some of the topics covered in these courses, which come in three levels, include:

  • How to train to meet the Industry Standards

  • How to interpret snow industry "contract language"

  • Being aware of insurance risks

  • De-icing chemicals/equipment

  • Sidewalk maintenance best practices

  • Effective crew management

  • Professionalism in dealing with clients

The Quality Management System & Legislative Reform

ASCA's Quality Management System goes a step further than the Industry Standards. It aims to prove that you have incorporated the Industry Standards into your working business model and routine. If faced with a claim, you will be able to show an insurance company that your facility's snow management program did everything possible to protect those present on facility grounds. As the Quality Management System is fairly new, only 10 businesses so far have been certified with it.

The ASCA is also fighting for legislative reforms, both at the federal and state levels. They attempt to influence the laws that affect the industry, and find a way to prevent out of control lawsuits and insurance premiums from crippling the efforts of snow removal professionals.

The ASCA is a top resource for facility managers who wish to train their crews for the safest possible snow removal methods and to protect their company from frivolous lawsuits. Insurance companies are already beginning to recognize the value of ASCA certifications and the Industry Standards, and subsequently are rewarding certified companies with rate reductions.


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