You know that black ice is dangerous. The thin, slippery layer of ice forms when warmer daytime temperatures melt snow and ice, and then cold overnight temperatures refreeze it. Black ice is hard to spot, putting both employees and customers at risk. Help keep your people on their feet with these three strategies.


Be Smart About Snow Pile Placement

Runoff from melting snow piles is a prime source of dangerous refreeze, so it’s important to collect plowed snow in a location that limits melting onto walkways. Work with your snow removal contractor to choose a snow pile location that considers factors such as the slope of the property, paths that pedestrians and vehicles usually take and the area’s exposure to the sun (which will increase the rate of snow melt). If you can, take advantage of drain grates as a way to direct melt water away from travel paths.


Stay on Top of Walkway Conditions

Because black ice forms overnight, it’s important to check on walkway conditions early in the morning before pedestrian traffic picks up. If black ice is present, mark the area with cones to alert passersby and treat the walkway with ice melt or traction aids, such as sand or poultry grit. Make sure employees know which areas are most prone to refreeze so they can check these areas throughout the day looking for spots that may need additional attention. Make this task easier by placing treatment and snow removal supplies near doorways where employees can quickly grab them.


Don’t Forget About Downspouts

Snow melt from your roof or gutters can also be a source of black ice if the downspout discharge is directed across walking surfaces. Divert this runoff away from walkways with a downspout extension or a channel that directs the water underneath the walkway.


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