There are many factors to take into account when the snow falls and removal is required in Grand Rapids Michigan and around the country. One thing that can sometimes end up overlooked is to continue proper access for the handicapped. It’s vital to make sure your property has ADA compliant snow removal (Americans with Disabilities Act).
ADA Compliant Snow Removal Tips
When an abundance of snow falls, the tendency is to clear paths as quickly as possible. But it’s important to clear an extra wide path to the building for people who need more than a small walking path to access the building.
It’s also essential to clear curb ramps. And don’t just plow the handicap spaces, but be sure to include the area surrounding them as well, including access aisles.
ADA Compliance goes well beyond wheelchair accessibility. Consider other physical and mental disabilities as well. Be sure mentally handicapped visitors that are trying to be independent can see proper signage after a storm.
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Business owners are responsible for the parking lot, walkways and sidewalks adjacent to their property to be kept reasonably clear of winter snow and ice. Even if a slip and fall lawsuit is difficult to prove in Michigan, there is still human decency, first impressions and public relations to think about. In fact, many people feel that how a property owner handles winter clean up is a direct reflection of how much they value their employees, customers and visitors.
As revealed in an ADA information document titled “Effective Snow Removal for Pathways and Transit Stops,” there are other considerations to keep in mind to help people with disabilities on your property in winter:
- Ice and salt can get on a wheelchair user’s hands and on the mobility device resulting in injury or rust. Consult a professional for ice management so the proper product and amount is used.
- People who use surface and visual cues for navigation may find snow and ice left on pathways disorienting.
- Ask a snow removal expert for a consultation on property design elements to snow and ice from impeding on pedestrians or drivers. For example, build in adequate space between the sidewalk and street to make room for snow.
- Many people with disabilities depend on public transit as their primary transportation option. Accessible pathways and transit stops should be a priority especially during winter weather.
Business owners and snow removal companies should work closely with the city and transit departments to not only comply with all regulations, but to make it as easy as possible for all people to move around the city during snowy weather. This includes the cities of Lansing and Grand Rapids, as well as the rural communities surrounding them.
Sneller Can Help!
At Sneller Snow & Grounds, we make it a priority to keep up-to-date on all ADA requirements and best practices for optimal risk management. We also thoroughly study our customers’ properties to provide top-rate snow and ice removal services that are ISO 9001 certified.
Give us a call at 616-868-4900 or contact us online for a free estimate on your Lansing or Grand Rapids snow removal services.