Safety measures for Snow and Ice on the ground

We are in a beautiful country setting but when we get those tough winters it is hard to keep the snow and ice cleared away.  We are an assisted living facility so we are open with workers coming and going 24/7.  Other than clearing snow, ice melt and sand  -  any other suggestions to prevent falls?  We are also a large property with 4 buildings on 18 acres in the mountains of AZ.  Thought some of you in the northeast may have some ideas.


thanks Carol


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  • Here are a couple of things we did at a manufacturing plant I worked at:

    1.  Had employees come in and go out through 1 or 2 entry ways.  This way our maintenance crew only had to make sure those entryways were always cleaned off.  If it was continuing to snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc. it was hard for them to keep up with all of the different entryways we had.  We did have them go around to all the entryways, but spent the majority of their time on these few entryways that we had identified.  

    2.  We had a discussion with employees about proper shoes to wear during bad weather.  Seems like a common sense thing, but I have learned over the years that common sense has different meanings to different people!  Although there are no magic shoes to prevent you from failing on ice, wearing boots or shoes with treads do help!  It is amazing what I saw people wearing in the middle of snow and ice storms!!


  • Hey, you don't say if your company owns your buildings.
  • I like IT HR's idea about limiting employees to 1 or 2 designated winter entryways.  Of course, if you are an assisted living facility, you also have liability issues for residents and guests. I would install a canopy over the sidewalks to these doors.

    If you have the financial resources, heated sidewalks for the two designated winter entryways would be nice. Our local hospital just installed these.

    Also, contact your insurance carrier; it may have some ideas to help or may even send someone over to look at your facility and offer specific suggestions (which could also lower your premiums).


  • Having worked for an assisted living facility in the northeast (CT), snow and ice was a big issue for resident and staff safety during the winter months.  We had service contracts for snow and ice removal and the round-the-clock in-house maintenance staff were charged with keeping walkways and entrance ways clear, salted and sanded.   Railing were installed on any walkway that had an incline.   We also did inservicing on safety, proper footware, etc.  We did not limit the entrances, however, since parking was an issue and we needed to keep all of the lots open and available for staff and visitors.  People would naturally use the entrance closest to the parking lot they were using.  And, for resident safety, all fire exits needed to remain clear and passable per fire code.
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