For commercial property owners or managers, snow and ice can make the winter months among the most hazardous of the year. Since snow and ice conditions are the leading causes of slip and fall injuries in the winter, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state to protect against liability risks. Responsibilities and potential liabilities can vary widely. But should a situation arise, it will be important to show that a plan with a licensed contractor who covers snow removal for commercial properties was set in place, and also that the plan was executed consistently.
Snow Removal for Commercial Properties By State
New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are no stranger to snow and ice, so it pays to be prepared. In general, snow and ice removal laws require commercial property owners to act with reasonable care towards customers; but unfortunately, the details for snow removal and standards that define hazards vary widely. Most of the locality-specific requirements can be found on municipal informational websites such as www1.nyc.gov for New York City as well as a city and town list where specific bylaws and ordinances can be found.
Snow Removal for Commercial Properties in New Jersey
As a general rule in New Jersey, a victim can establish a case for liability in a slip and fall if the property owner had a legal duty to remove or warn about the risk of snow and ice but did nothing to remove the dangerous condition. Snow must be properly removed and done within 48 hours of the end of a storm. This includes clearing all parking lot spaces, ramps, sidewalks and other accessible areas for persons who have disabilities to be able to access the building.
Snow Removal for Commercial Properties in New York
According to the NYC Administrative Code, every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any lot or building must clean snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent (i.e., in front of, on the side of, in back of) to their properties.
If the snow stops falling between:
– 7:00 a.m. and 4:49 p.m. – it must be cleared within four hours
– 5:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. – it must be cleared within fourteen hours (Example: If the snow stops falling at 7:00 p.m., the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person in charge of any lot or building has until 9:00 a.m. the following morning to clear.)
– 9:00 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. – it must be cleared by 11:00 a.m. the next day
Snow Removal for Commercial Properties in Pennsylvania
According to the Pennsylvania law, property owners have up until 24 hours (or a reasonable amount of time) after the snow stops falling to start to make the dangerous condition safe or provide a warning.
Commercial property owners are required to take action when the accumulation reaches a point in which hills and ridges of snow and ice are formed. In Pennsylvania, this is known as the Hills and Ridges Doctrine. According to the doctrine, must be shown that:
– The snow and ice accumulated so much that it unreasonably obstructed travel
– The property owner knew or should have known about the conditions
– The snow and ice is what caused the plaintiff to slip and fall
Professional Snow Removal for Commercial Properties
As a business or store owner, you have a duty to keep your premises in a reasonably safe condition for the public by inspecting the premises and looking for any obvious and hidden defects in the parking lot. When it comes to snow removal for commercial properties, it’s time to get to know these regulations, stay ahead of the season with a snow removal plan and follow through with that plan all winter long.
With years of experience in the business of snow removal for commercial properties, the professionals at East Coast Paving take the responsibility of clearing your property in a timely fashion and adhere to the laws and regulations required by the states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to save you a potential fine in the end.
If you have a commercial property and are ready to set your snow removal plan for the upcoming season, contact us today at 732-329-3600!