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Part 1: Taming Winter Weather with Snow and Ice Management
By Brian Birch and Phill Sexton
September 2013 -
Grounds Management Article Use Policy
Maintenance and grounds managers are responsible for ensuring institutional and commercial facilities remain open, functional, and productive. They, as well as facility operations, can not afford to be hindered by snow and ice each year.
The challenge for managers is creating a standard strategy for managing snow and ice from season to season. Many variables get in the way, including inconsistency in resources, inconsistency in weather patterns, and general challenges tied to the business and organizational environment. The sheer random nature of winter weather can cause major headaches for facilities affected and become a burden on budgets and time. To address these challenges, managers can implement a layer of best practices as part of annually reviewing, managing, and evaluating their departments' snow and ice procedures.
One good first step is to develop a snow site-engineering plan. Creating a plan that can help identify snow-removal priorities is essential. For example, this plan defines areas of parking lots that operators of snow-removal equipment should clear first. The plan can be particularly helpful when responding to heavier storms or blizzards.
The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) is offering a checklist that was developed by industry professionals for facilities managers, grounds managers, and service providers. It describes best practices for snow and ice management. This one-page checklist can help managers more objectively evaluate and improve their snow-removal programs, whether in-house staff or an contractor is performing the work.
The best practices checklist is free and available at www.sima.org/bestpractices.
When identifying these areas, managers need to be sure to include items such as the location of fire hydrants, emergency exits, emergency egresses, and utility access points. The snow-site engineering plan also should identify locations operators can pile plowed snow, taking into consideration sight lines, handicap parking areas, and drainage locations.
A snow site-engineering plan also should identify:
Special Section: Snow and Ice
Part 2: Snow-Removal Training Often Difficult to Schedule
Part 3: Anti- and De-Icing Techniques Important for Safety Reasons
Part 4: Create Proactive System for Legal Challenges With Ice and Snow Issues