Winter is over! This means time for “spring cleaning.” Winter can wreak havoc on many things [as we know all too well!] and one item that is often overlooked by businesses when the snow has melted away is the condition of the sidewalks on the premises. Pedestrian falls on sidewalks are often a result of the sidewalk not being maintained in a reasonably safe condition.
Regular sidewalk inspections are important for identifying unsafe conditions throughout the entire year. Following are several different areas to be on the lookout for when inspecting existing sidewalks for safety concerns:
- Are there large cracks, missing pieces, or other substantial structural defects?
- Is there uneven settlement or heaving?
- Are there missing sidewalk flags? [a flag is a square of sidewalk material]
- Any of the following temporary hazards?
- Puddled water?
- Snow and ice? [although hopefully not a concern until next winter]
- Sand, dirt, or mud?
- Leaves, fallen branches or twigs?
- Are curb edges clearly marked?
- Are curb heights excessive?
- Do tree limbs or other overhanging objects pose a substantial hazard to pedestrians?
By no means is this a comprehensive list, but a good starting point for evaluating the safety of the sidewalks at your business. If you see any of the above hazards, we encourage you to get it taken care of as soon as possible for the safety of both your employees, and customers.
Happy “Spring cleaning!”