The work at a hospital or healthcare facility never stops.
And that includes when a cold and heavy snow and ice storm hits Northeast Ohio.
If you manage the landscaping at a medical property, you know winter weather can add a lot of risk to your operation, impacting regular daily activities, as well as raising liability concerns in the event of an injury.
As a result, there are some key areas you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to snow removal services for healthcare facilities. Let’s take a look at the main areas you must keep your eye on when it comes to enhancing safety and security at your hospital.
Top 4 Healthcare Facility Snow Removal Essentials
Managing a healthcare facility comes with its own special set of challenges.
The safety of patients and visitors, as well as the accessibility of life-saving services is crucial. All the snow and ice won’t change these facts.
Addressing a plan of attack now with your snow removal services company will ensure you’re taken care of when the white stuff starts flying.
Here are some key high-risk areas and snow removal services for healthcare facilities you should keep in mind when discussing this seasonal strategy.
1. Patient Drop-Off/Pick-Up Areas & Entranceways
Snow and ice doesn’t always stay away from entryways -- even when they are covered. Wind has a tendency to blow these winter weather attributes around. As a result, snow can pile up and ice can build up around patient loading and unloading areas.
On top of that, patients being taken to or picked up from hospitals are not always able to move around very easily, which makes falling a greater risk.
This is why slippery surfaces are usually tops on the list of snow removal services for healthcare facilities. Make sure to explain the priority of ice and snow removal around key areas to your service provider. If there are certain areas that need 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week clearance, list them and share the reasons why they must be cleared first.
2. Parking Lots and Structures
Just like entranceways and drop-off/pick-up areas, parking lots and structures also need clear pathways for medical professionals, patients and visitors to navigate.
These areas can ice up relatively quickly because they are open so wind can more swiftly freeze melting snow. People should be able to see parking spots and access these areas. Top levels of parking structures must be ice- and snow-free when it comes to healthcare and medical facility snow removal.
Salting becomes an important service for keeping ice at a manageable level in these spaces. But sustainability is also important to consider. Too much salt isn’t good for the environment because it can damage nearby grasses and plants. Your service professional should know the happy medium between too much salt and not enough.
To control salt application, Turfscape, for instance, takes the extra step to calibrate its salt spreading equipment to make sure we’re not putting excess salt down when it’s not necessary. Since salt prices and availability can rise each year, this also saves you money in the long run.
3. Communication is Key
As we all know from living in Northeast Ohio, Mother Nature doesn’t deliver snow on our schedules. You can almost guarantee that we’ll get a heavy snowstorm at 2 a.m. one night and 5 p.m. rush hour the next day.
As a result, you don’t want to be constantly worried about what’s happening at your healthcare facility in the middle of the night when you see that dreaded snowfall begin. If you have to get yourself up and out of bed to drive to a site to make sure work is being done, you might not have the best service provider that is prioritizing your needs or understands the complexities of the winter season.
Snow removal services for healthcare facilities are considered emergency services, so your provider’s response times are important. Make sure you know where they are located and how fast they can get to your property, as well as their plan when snow falls at all hours.
Also, it’s helpful to have a snow removal services provider who can share automatic updates with you so you know work is being done. Sometimes this notification can happen when a piece of equipment enters or leaves a geofence or perimeter. Updates like this can mean instant peace-of-mind for you. As you toss and turn in bed at 2 a.m. as wicked weather piles up, wouldn’t you feel much better seeing alerts so you know snow is being cleared on your property versus having to wake yourself up to go and physically check to make sure?
4. Better Visibility = Enhanced Safety
Since snow professionals tend to be plowing at all hours, lighting is essential for visibility on site. That way, as medical professionals and patients come and go, they have a clear line of sight of any equipment still performing work, and your snow provider can clearly see them as well.
We use strobe lights on our equipment so we are visible. This is an extra package that we must add to our trucks and equipment to enhance their safety features. Make sure your provider takes the time and makes the investment in upgrading their equipment for safety purposes where snow and ice management services are involved.
When working on sidewalks, snow removal services should require crews wear reflective vests so they’re visible. Paying special attention to people passing by is also part of service standards to keep safety top-of-mind.
Snow and Ice Services That Enhance Safety at Your Healthcare Facility
The size and scope of a commercial property can make managing snowfall a huge undertaking for anyone. But maintaining the grounds at a hospital can elevate your concerns where snow and ice are concerned.
An all-inclusive or seasonal contract could be the solution for your healthcare and medical facility snow removal strategy. This means you pay a monthly rate for four months, and no matter how many snow and ice events occur, your service professional will be there. You can also specify your special needs or high-attention spots of concern, so your snow and ice management provider becomes your partner in keeping people safe on your site.
This might seem like a challenge to figure out, especially with everything else you have on your plate. We understand, and we can help.
Turfscape would be happy to discuss some specific ideas that could improve safety and security at your healthcare facility and fit within your budget so you are the property champion. Request a proposal today. We’ll review your options together so you can make the best choice.