A dusting of snow can be beautiful but snow build up quickly and become a hazard for both pedestrians and drivers. Rapid and efficient snow removal is essential to businesses to help control risks including falls, slips and fender benders.
We spoke with Rob Wilich, owner of North Atlantic Snow, LLC, and a seacoast-based snowplow contractor about safety tips.
Rob’s top 3 tips:
#1 Prepare in advance. Before the first snowfall, check out the areas you’ve committed to plowing. Are there areas or things that might be hidden by a covering of snow? Speed bumps, curbs and curves can be particularly hazardous if you don’t plan in advance. Before using the plow for the first time, read your owner’s manual. You’ll need to do a full inspection of your vehicle as well as the plow. Check your vehicle’s lights to make sure they are working. Have a look at the plow for any signs of wear. You’ll need to repeat the inspection throughout the season.
#2 Get to your job site safely. While driving on the road with a plow attached to your truck, remember to keep the plow as far off the ground as you can. Plan to give yourself plenty of time between job sites. Driving faster than 40 miles per hour with a plow on the front of your vehicle can be hazardous especially when there is snow and ice covering the roads.
#3 Be aware of risks while plowing Make sure you have a plan for where to put the snow before you start moving and dropping the blade. Resist the urge to remove your seatbelt, no matter where you are plowing as hidden objects could cause your vehicle to stop suddenly. Always physically turn around and look while you’re driving in reverse – especially if there is traffic in the area. Snowy condition can dramatically limit visibility.
If you do have an accident while plowing, get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. Take digital photos of the damage. The more information you can gather the better.