Importance of Snow Management
Snow accumulation can be a serious problem for many areas of the country. Freshly fallen snow provides an excellent opportunity to create great winter sports like skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, hockey or just plain old fun games for kids, but it also presents problems that must be dealt with to ensure public safety.
Commercial snow and ice management is essential during the winter months. Removing the snow also prevents any injuries caused by slipping on the wet snow. It also prevents a vehicle from skidding while rolling out of a driveway. Thus, the importance of snow management is in avoiding injuries and keeping people safe from harm.
Why hire a pro?
Winter weather conditions can cause safety issues where customers or employees could slip and fall on icy sidewalks. Driveways and parking lots can be hazardous as well if snow and ice are allowed to accumulate.
Unexpected weather conditions frequently occur in many cold-weather locations, making it difficult to get in and out of work buildings and the parking lots. A pro has a plan before the storm even occurs, and if it isn’t too severe, areas should be cleared and safe within 24 hours of the weather event. No need to close up shop!
- Safer Work Environments
Snow and ice management is a job for the experts and should not be a do-it-yourself project. Unfortunately, most owners do not have the proper equipment to handle the job effectively, nor do they have the proper training or experience, resulting in incidents like slip and fall accidents, dangerous parking areas, or just a complete inconvenience for everyone at the workplace.
Importance of Snow Removal for Senior Citizens
Many cities offer senior citizens 65 years of age and over and disabled residents the opportunity to apply with a registration fee for municipal snow clearing services.
Most cities have a snow clearing plan, but there is not much for seniors and others. Municipal snow clearing plans for disabled populations are usually limited to depending on the kindness of neighbors. Automated calls from public works during snow events in smaller cities often remind residents to help their neighbors that need help. For example, the city of Cincinnati’s current snow plan relies on residents to help neighbors with disabilities “navigate through the difficulties of winter.”
Wheelchair users may be stuck in their homes for a long-time, missing work, doctors’ appointments, school, and more, as they wait not just for their streets but also sidewalks to be cleared. Navigating through the snow is not always an option.
Part of the problem is that most people do not shovel paths wide enough for wheelchair accessibility. In addition to narrow paths on sidewalks, the piles left after a snowplow company services an area. They drop salt to melt the ice, creating further hazards for wheelchair users, the disabled, and seniors.
Snow management is a term used to describe managing and removing snow from roads and sidewalks. This includes the methods, equipment, and chemicals used to keep sidewalks, roads, parking lots, and other areas as safe as possible for pedestrians and motorists.
The dangers of walking on unsalted ice are obvious. Unsalted ice can be as much as ten times as slippery as normal, dry surfaces. Unfortunately, the ice itself is not the only winter hazard presented by snow and ice removal techniques. In areas where snow has been plowed away from curbs, approaching vehicles must either drop down to the road surface or climb up too high onto the sidewalk – both of these maneuvers are dangerous.
Snow management also includes the correct type of snow shovels used to keep sidewalks safe for pedestrians, or salt used to melt ice on roads and parking lots.
The United States government has established standards for snow removal equipment by adopting ASTM standards developed for this material. These standards address safety factors for operating equipment, product labeling requirements, and test methods to determine how effective the equipment has been in removing snow.
Snow must be removed from sidewalks up to fifteen feet from any property line. This usually includes six inches of compacted snow on top of frozen ground, which can be extremely difficult to remove without proper tools. If fresh, powdery snow has fallen, removing the top few inches of snow for salt or other chemical ice-melters may be necessary to reach the ice below.
What are the impacts and challenges of de-icing?
One primary concern in snow removal is environmental safety. Salt can cause problems when it comes into contact with certain vegetation. It can also be an issue if animals come into contact with salt and sodium chloride. These factors must be considered when dealing with governmental agencies and large businesses that forbid salt to melt ice.
Salt can also corrode metals such as steel, aluminum, or galvanized metal—and because most snow-removal equipment is made from one of these three materials, the salt used in snow management can cause significant damage to vehicles that are involved or come into contact with it. When this happens, replacement parts must be obtained, and the vehicle must be reconditioned at the owner’s expense.
The chemicals used in most winter de-icing materials are corrosive to metals as well as rubber hoses and belts, thus requiring meticulous maintenance of snow-removal equipment. For example, calcium chloride is used in roughly 90 percent of the winter mountain areas of the United States. Unfortunately, it is very corrosive to metals, rubber hoses, and belts if it comes into direct contact with them. Calcium chloride corrodes bare metal or galvanized steel at a rate of 6.5 lbs. per year per 1,000 square feet.
People using snow-removal equipment must be appropriately trained in the best practices used for this job and should always wear safety gear while doing so. Anyone involved in the snow removal industry must be trained in proper safety procedures for using snow-removal equipment as well as the use of chemicals for de-icing and should wear protective goggles or glasses, thick gloves to avoid injury from sharp edges or chemicals, waterproof boots that provide traction on icy surfaces, and heavy clothing.
Snow management also includes the use of corrosive chemicals such as sodium chloride or calcium chloride to de-ice roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, etc. Employees using these materials must take precautions to avoid contact with them. If they come into contact with it, they should immediately exit the area to prevent damage due to corrosion.
If salt or other corrosive materials are used for melting snow or ice, the equipment used must be thoroughly cleaned after every use to prevent damage. Salt-damaged vehicles should not be kept outside; they should be brought inside to avoid rusting. Since rust is almost impossible to remove from vehicles, this process can become extremely expensive.
Snow management is a critical aspect of the snow removal industry that has been taken more seriously in recent years due to injury and damage caused by improper use not only of snow-removal equipment but also through the use of corrosive chemicals such as salt.
Snow management is an integral part of snow removal that must be taken seriously by both employees and employers due to dangers associated with damage or injury caused by defective or improperly used equipment; failure to follow this guideline can cause extensive damage or injury to equipment, people, or property.