Small Businesses Winter

How To Protect Your Business Against 6 Common Winter Hazards

Winter weather creates a set of risks you won’t face any other time of year. With colder than usual temperatures, snow, and ice, it’s time to start preparing for weather-related issues that your business might face. Here are some steps you can take to help protect your business.

Protect Your Business from Winter Risk

Trips, slips, and falls

While snow and ice can be damaging to your business property, another (and perhaps eve greater) risk is injury to your customers and employees. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that safety measures are in place.

  • Be equipped with shovels and snow blowers to clear sidewalks, steps, driveways, and entrances. Be sure to have sand and ice melt on hand as well.
  • Repair any parking lot holes, handrails, and steps.
  • If you outsource snow removal, be sure whomever you hire is reputable and can provide proof of liability insurance.
  • Inside your business equip entrance ways with non-slip, water absorbing floor mats.

Frozen water pipes

Some businesses like warehouses, storage facilities, or spaces that are currently unoccupied due to remote work situations may be cooler and more susceptible to frozen pipes.

  • Inspect pipes for cracks and leaks
  • Have adequate insulation and wrap pipes if necessary.
  • Be sure to keep heat set at 60-65 for any unoccupied space or for after business hours to help avoid freezing temperatures.
  • Know where your water shut off valve is.

Power outages

Winter months means snow and ice storms that create hazardous conditions and power loss.

  • Keep a generator on hand and test it before the winter weather hits
  • Have an emergency kit ready stocked with water, flashlights, first aid supplies, cell phone charger, non-perishable food, and basic tool
  • Have equipment plugged into surge protectors to prevent damage.

Building Maintenance

Cleaning and fixing potential hazards before snow falls is important to ward off even worse problems down the road.

  • Inspect roof shingles and any structural issues
  • Clean out gutters, and repair any cracks.
  • Trim trees or low hanging branches near buildings and walkways.

Business Interruption

In the event you cannot access your building, have a business continuity plan that includes a variety of scenarios is best practice for any industry.

  • Work from home option for employees that includes: clear expectations, equipment that can be utilized off-site, and access to programs that are necessity to accomplish work activities.
  • Have updated employee contact information and a communication tree in place.
  • Plan how to handle call flow and access to answering systems.
  • Keep a list of key people and their phone numbers, such as vendors, local emergency numbers, building owner, and your insurance agent.

Adequate Insurance Coverage

It’s best to review your business insurance coverages with your agent before an incident happens. Ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage in place to protect you, your employees, and your business is important.

  • Set up a meeting with your insurance agent to review your current polices and limits to ensure proper coverage.
  • Discuss winter risks and be sure that your Property, Business Liability, and Workers’ Compensation policies are ready to respond if employees or customers are injured on your premise.

One thing that you can count on is that New England winter weather is unpredictable. Being proactive and diligent can alleviate hazards to your business, your customers, and employees. An Encharter agent can help review your current insurance coverages and answer any questions and concerns. Give us a call today!

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