Now that the snowstorm has ended and you’ve shoveled the sidewalk in front of your home, you can sit back and relax. Right? Not entirely.
As a property owner or tenant responsible for a property, you have an on-going responsibility to keep your property reasonably safe. Clearing a sidewalk, parking lot, or pathway after the initial storm is usually only the first step.
Snow and ice melt when temperatures rise and freeze again when it goes below 32 degrees. This process of thaw and freeze can create dangerous conditions that you need to be mindful of and address in keeping your property reasonably safe.
Some common conditions you might find are melting snow from roofs and then refreezing on steps or pathways; snow and ice draining down gutters and leaders, discharging onto driveways and walkways, causing icy conditions; snow piles in parking lots where melting snow drains into areas where people walk, often creating black ice and highly slippery hazards.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 there were over 20,000 injuries related to ice, sleet, and snow–14% of all those injuries occurred in New York. Icy conditions are hazards we often see following snowstorms: walking to work through an icy parking lot; walking up outdoor steps glazed in ice; walking on a walkway or driveway covered in ice due to melting snow flow from gutters and leaders. When temperatures are at their lowest–early morning and evening, these conditions can be difficult to observe and avoid.
Slip and falls from snow and ice often cause serious injuries, including concussions, broken bones, hip fractures which can lead to extensive loss of time from work, expensive medical care, and extensive rehabilitation.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, Call Us. We Can Help.