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Snow and Ice Management: Safety Tips

grounds care, grounds management, snow and ice removal, training, snow, ice, snow and ice, safety

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is implementing safety precautions for snow and ice removal.

Once managers have a plan for servicing and maintaining snow and ice removal equipment, they should take a closer look at their safety and training programs. A well-prepared and executed safety and training program can help prevent accidents and ensure efficient, smooth operations.

Common safety precautions include:
•  Never place a person or body part between a moving piece of equipment and another structure, such as a wall or a piece of equipment.
•  Always provide new employees ample time to get familiar with equipment and its operation before having them operate the equipment.
•  Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, or PPE.
•  And finally, outfit all mobile equipment with the appropriate amount of safety and strobe lighting to alert traffic and pedestrians of moving equipment.

When training new employees or reviewing operations with veterans, start with the plow detached and demonstrate attaching the plow safely. Workers need to identify possible pinch points, determine the proper speed and angles required to safely attach the plow, and complete the training by parking the vehicle with the plow on the ground.

Once employees have attached the plow, managers need to train operators on the way to properly inspect the unit. This process includes checking tire pressure and fluid levels on the vehicle and examining spreader hoppers for damage and foreign objects. Workers should test spreader augers and spinners without any material in the spreader to ensure they are operating correctly.

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