Winter Safety Tips to Avoid Accidents This Season

Contractors are no strangers to risk, and in winter familiar job site hazards can become even more threatening. Take the time now to make sure your insurance has the coverage you need to keep your business safe when the weather gets chilly.

Get winter safety tips to help yourself avoid a costly incident and ensure you have the insurance you need to cover common winter accidents.

Protect Yourself From These 3 Common Winter Construction Claims

#1: Fall Injuries on the Job Site

Ice makes streets and sidewalks more hazardous in the winter, and your job site is no exception. Personal injury claims are one of the most common types of construction claims, and icy winter weather can make things especially dangerous. Slip and fall accidents can result in costly, time-consuming lawsuits that you may not be able to afford, so it's important to make sure you're protected.

Tips to Avoid an Accident:
When prepping your job sites for winter, make sure you have plenty of salt and sand on hand to treat walking surfaces. You'll also want to verify that your team is using shovels and snow blowers to clear walking and work areas. Finally, safety equipment such as warm clothing and shoes with nonslip soles are especially important in the winter months.

If you're contracting out for snow removal, make sure the subcontractor's coverage is adequate as well with a valid and current insurance certificate.

The Coverage You Need:
You want to be safe, but sometimes accidents happen. That's where your construction insurance can step in. You'll want to make sure you have adequate coverage with key policies like:

  • Contractor General Liability insurance can help cover issues like medical bills, work time missed, and may even be able to help with costs associated with a lawsuit.
  • Workers' Compensation can step in if one of your employees is injured on the job, helping with medical bills, lost wages, and other concerns.

#2: Traffic Accidents on Icy Roads

Winter driving can be especially treacherous. If one of your team members hits a patch of ice and gets into a wreck, the consequences can be disastrous, from injury and missed work to possible lawsuits. Make sure you pay careful attention to winter driving.

Tips to Avoid an Accident:
As the forecast starts to get chillier, share specific winter driving safety measures with your team. Make sure you put extra emphasis on driving safely when ice and extreme weather are a concern.

You can also keep your crew safe by bringing your fleet in for winter maintenance, which should include winter tires, new wipers, etc. Ensure every vehicle has emergency supplies on board before you send them back out into the field.
 
The Coverage You Need:
You'll need a good Commercial Auto Policy in case your precautions fail and someone hits a patch of black ice out on the road. Commercial Auto can help cover vehicle damage and liability if you or your team is at fault, medical payments, and other costs.

#3: Build Damage from Winter Storms

Even when you carefully plan out your project timelines to account for winter weather delays, snow and ice can still have a harmful impact on the structure itself. A fierce storm rolling through to cause damage to a partially-completed structure can be a contractor's worst nightmare. Freezing weather can also bring cold intrusion damage or liquid damage after the thaw.

Tips to Avoid an Accident:
Take proactive measures to ensure your job sites are prepared for a storm. This should include precautions such as:

  • Bracing building components in case of wind.
  • Evaluating your risk for a flood and ensuring your site has proper drainage.
  • Properly storing and handling equipment and components so they aren't damaged by the cold.

The Coverage You Need:
Builders' Risk Insurance may be able to help cover you in the event of damage done to a structure in progress by a weather event. In the event that a winter storm causes damage to your project, equipment, or supplies, Builder's Risk can step in to help with cleanup and repairs.

Winter can pose unique risks to a construction project. Review your insurance coverage now to ensure you're ready. Ready to winterize your construction business? Reach out to get a quote.

 

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40169 Truckee Airport Rd. Ste #203
Truckee, California 96161
Phone (800) 579-6369
Fax (530) 582-6007
License #0M14555