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Snow Removal Risk Management for Commercial Property Managers

December 28, 2023
Snow Removal Risk Management for Commercial Property Managers
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Proper risk management is essential for any commercial property, especially when it comes to snow removal. The winter months bring the challenge of snow and ice, which, if not managed effectively, can lead to an increased risk of accidents, property damage, and customer dissatisfaction.

As an industry-leading commercial snow removal company, Earth Development boasts a capable team that understands the importance of managing these risks and keeping your commercial property safe and accessible.

This article will take an in-depth look at snow removal risk-management strategies, offering insights into how property managers can brave the snowy season with confidence.

Understanding the Risks of Snow and Ice

Understanding the Risks of Snow and Ice

As a commercial property manager, it’s crucial to know the dangers associated with snow and ice, not all of which are physical in nature.

There are two primary areas of concern: liability risks and property damage risks. These risks underscore the importance of effective snow removal and risk-management strategies.

Liability Risks

Snow and ice create slippery surfaces that can result in slips, falls, and related injuries. As a property owner or manager, you're responsible for maintaining safe conditions on your premises. Failing to remove snow promptly can lead to costly legal liabilities.

Property Damage Risks

Snow and ice aren't just a threat to people — they can also damage your property. The weight of accumulated snow can place great stress on roofs and other structural components, necessitating expensive repairs.

The Role of Commercial Property Managers

You have many responsibilities when it comes to safeguarding your commercial property against the risks presented by snow and ice. Fortunately, carrying out these responsibilities also shields you from the threat of liability and property damage.

Here are two of the most important things you can do to make your property safer.

Snow Removal Planning

Proper risk management begins with preseason planning. Property managers must assess their specific snow removal needs, considering factors like property size, foot traffic, and local weather conditions. A proactive approach sets the foundation for effective removal.

Vendor Selection

Choosing the right snow removal company is also key. Professional contractors have the expertise and equipment needed to handle the snow removal process efficiently.

When comparing different contractors, consider factors like response time, equipment capabilities, and track record.

Snow Removal Risk-Mitigation Strategies

Snow Removal Risk-Mitigation Strategies

Now, it's time to delve deeper into additional strategies that can further safeguard your commercial property during the winter months.

Snow and Ice Monitoring

Early detection of inclement weather allows for better risk assessment and planning. With that in mind, property managers can use weather-monitoring tools to stay informed about upcoming snow events. Alternatively, you can hire a professional snow removal company like Earth Development to do it for you.

Proactive Preseason Planning

Property managers should engage in comprehensive preseason planning to assess potential snow and ice risks. This includes conducting site inspections to identify high-risk areas, evaluating all primary access points, and determining snow storage locations.

Careful planning will allow you to allocate resources effectively and develop a snow-removal strategy tailored to your operations.

Contractor Evaluation

When selecting snow removal contractors, property managers should make it a point to assess their qualifications and overall track record. Important factors to look at include experience, equipment, response times, and references and reviews. Choosing a reputable and experienced contractor will minimize the risk of subpar service.

Employee Training and Safety Measures

Employee Training and Safety Measures

You’ll also need to make sure your employees are well-informed about snow removal procedures and safety measures. Conduct training sessions to educate them on how to work safely in snowy conditions. Provide proper signage, designated walkways, and anti-slip materials to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents.

Documentation and Record-Keeping

Maintain accurate records of all snow removal activities, including dates, times, and services performed. Recording these details can be useful in the event of legal disputes or insurance claims. You should also hold onto records of any communication with snow removal contractors.

Emergency Response Plans

Create detailed emergency response plans for severe snow events or unexpected weather changes. Define individual roles and responsibilities during emergencies and establish communication channels for immediate action. That way, everyone will know exactly what to do when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Regular Inspections

Lastly, it’s critical to conduct regular property inspections during the winter months to identify snow or ice-related issues. Addressing problems promptly can prevent accidents and minimize damage.

Benefits of Professional Snow Removal Services

Benefits of Professional Snow Removal Services

Hiring professional contractors to handle your snow removal needs offers numerous benefits. Here are a few of the most notable.

1. Expertise and Equipment

Professional snow removal companies have experienced crews and use specialized equipment to deal with snow and ice and the hazards they create. They understand the technical and logistical nuances of snow plowing and ice control, which reduces the risk of accidents.

2. Timely Response

Winter weather can be unpredictable. Companies like Earth Development offer 24/7 response to service requests, ensuring that your property remains safe, even in the midst of an unexpected snowstorm. Timely removal is essential for managing risk effectively.

3. Regulatory Compliance

Professional contractors are also well-versed in local regulations and ordinances related to snow and ice control. By entrusting the job to the pros, property managers can guarantee compliance with all relevant laws and avoid fines and penalties.

4. Cost-Effectiveness

While it may seem counterintuitive, hiring out can often be more economical than handling snow removal in-house. Professional crews work quickly and efficiently, keeping labor costs down and minimizing the risk of property damage that can result in costly repairs.

5. Enhanced Safety

Professional snow removal services prioritize safety above all else. They follow industry best practices to create safe property conditions, reducing the risk of accidents for customers, employees, and tenants alike.

6. Minimized Property Damage

Minimized Property Damage

Professional snow removal companies use special equipment and techniques that minimize the risk of accidental destruction during the removal process, including damage to pavements, landscaping, and core structural elements.

7. Insurance Benefits

Many professional snow removal companies carry liability insurance, which can provide additional protection in case of accidents or property damage. Property managers can therefore enjoy peace of mind knowing that any unforeseen incidents are covered.

8. Efficient Resource Allocation

Property managers can put their resources to better use by outsourcing snow removal. Doing so ensures that their teams can focus on core business activities rather than diverting their attention and manpower to tasks like snow and ice management.

9. Improved Customer Satisfaction

A well-maintained, snow-free property enhances the overall experience of clients, employees, and tenants. This, in turn, can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately benefiting the business.

10. Reduced Stress and Liability

Professional removal services take the stress out of managing snow and ice for property managers. By delegating these responsibilities to experts, property managers can reduce their liability and ensure that snow-related risks are handled competently.

Snow Removal Case Studies

The following case studies will further illustrate the importance of working with professional snow removal services, both from the standpoint of safety and operational efficiency.

Case Study 1: Shopping Malls

Case Study 1: Shopping Malls

Challenges: Shopping malls face the challenge of ensuring safe conditions during snowy weather. Slip and fall accidents on icy surfaces pose a substantial liability risk.

Outcome: By partnering with a professional snow removal company, mall managers took a proactive approach to risk management by addressing the following considerations:

  • Preseason Planning: The snow removal company conducted thorough preseason planning, identifying high-traffic areas and potential accumulation zones on the premises.
  • Experienced Crews: Highly trained crews minimized the risk of accidents and provided efficient snow removal.
  • Timely Response: With 24/7 responsiveness, snow and ice were cleared promptly during unexpected events, reducing accident risk.


  • Reduced Liability: Slip and fall accidents decreased significantly, reducing potential liability claims against the shopping mall.
  • Enhanced Satisfaction: Clear pathways and parking lots improved the on-site experience for both customers and tenant employees.

Case Study 2: Logistics Hub

Challenges: Logistics hubs play a vital role in the movement of goods. Winter weather disruptions can affect operations and safety through delays, accidents, and property damage.

Outcome: The logistics hub management worked with a professional snow removal company with expertise in industrial facilities to achieve the following:

  • Customized Plan: A tailored snow removal plan prioritized high-traffic areas like loading docks and access roads.
  • Specialized Crews: Experienced crews using high-performance equipment ensured efficient removal and minimal operational disruptions.
  • Emergency Response: 24/7 emergency response prevented prolonged operational downtime.


  1. Operational Continuity: The hub experienced minimal weather-related disruptions, reducing delays and losses.
  2. Accident Prevention: Safe conditions lowered the risk of accidents, protecting employees and reducing liability claims.
  3. Asset Protection: Goods and equipment were safeguarded, making costly repairs or replacements unnecessary.

Have a Plan for Snow and Ice Removal This Winter

Mitigating the risks associated with snow and ice is paramount for successful property management, as failure to do so can lead to accidents, property damage, and customer dissatisfaction.

By partnering with Earth Development, property managers can reduce these risks and provide a safe and accessible commercial environment during the winter months. Earth Development provides proactive risk-management strategies to the whole Midwest.

Don't let snow and ice be a source of worry — take control of your winter risk-management plan and get a free fast quote for snow removal pricing for your property today!

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
Are You Ready for Winter?
Are You Ready for Winter?

Snow and ice can strike unexpectedly, even before winter officially arrives. Contact Earth Development today to get efficient, hassle-free snow removal for your commercial property.

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The amount of snow Minnesota gets each winter fluctuates, but it’s typically safe to expect a consistent amount throughout the winter months. Last year, did you have enough space on your property to store plowed snow?