It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Snow Plows: Safety Tips & Scary Clips

Snow Plow Accident

December. It’s here and time for us to get serious about Lansing and Grand Rapids snow removal services. We’ve already had our first snow event that sparked the idea of a few new winter safety tips. When sharing the roadways and parking lots with heavy equipment this winter season, there are a few things you should know to help keep you safe in Michigan or wherever you drive. Here are a few snow plow safety tips and scary video clips that might help:

The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall

Although snow plows and snow removal equipment are effective at spreading salt, deicer, or other ice melt chemicals on slick surfaces, those surfaces aren’t always equipped to bear the weight (This is NOT our equipment, and hiring a professional like Sneller Snow Systems will ensure that this does not happen to you!). Be cautious when driving or parking near these machines.

The Bigger They Are, the Slower They Stop

Remember that it takes great skill and precision to handle large machinery. Often operators are required to obtain extra licenses and specialized training before handling them. We believe the best snow removal services include certified operators and ISO certified snow removal systems. But even all of these precautions are no match for the unexpected. Other motorists, unaware of how long it can take large vehicles to come to a stop, could pull out at the wrong time and cause a problem.

If you’re going to share the roads with large snow removal equipment, take sensible precautions. First, allow big rigs more time for slowing and stopping. Second, leave plenty of room. Most states require you to stay back from snow plows at least 200 feet by law.

The Bigger They Are, The Further Away You Should Be

Take a lesson from one reporter from Traverse City, Michigan, who discovered what happens if you stand too close to the edge of the road when a snow plow goes by. If you’re going to walk or stand alongside the road for any reason, pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your head up and keep well back in the event of snow plows.

The good news is that all of our operators at Sneller Snow Systems are well-trained, well-qualified, and fully experienced in winter safety. We take great care to follow guidelines and keep our eyes out for other drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for every truck, plow, or big rig on the roads this winter. It’s our hope that this post will remind you to exercise caution.

If you have questions or comments about our Lansing or Grand Rapids snow removal services, snow plowing, or ice management services, please feel free to contact us.

Winter Is Here! 3 Safety Tips To Be Prepared for Grand Rapids Snow

Shoveling Snow

Last weekend we received our first real snowfall in 2015 in the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas. It’s not clear if the snow will stick around this week, but either way – before long, Lansing and Grand Rapids snow will hold us in a cold embrace; and the sooner we prepare ourselves, the better off we’ll be. Forewarned is forearmed. So here are three important winter safety tips to help you prepare for Michigan snow in 2015-2016:

Winter Safety Tip 1: Don’t strain yourself.

We’re all aware that we need to walk carefully on icy sidewalks, because every year people injure themselves when they slip and fall; however, there’s a greater risk that you will die while shoveling snow than by slipping on ice! According to the National Safety Council, shoveling hundreds of pounds of snow can be quite a strain on the heart–especially for older people and sedentary individuals. Just as you would for any workout, prepare yourself for shoveling by being well-rested and well-hydrated. Start by stretching, and then warm up slowly as you work. If you feel tired or strained, take a break. Last, always remember to lift with your legs instead of your back.

Winter Safety Tip 2: Don’t minimize the small storms.

We’re all on guard for the big ones, but smaller storms can cause quite a bit of damage as well. As the experts at NOAA remind us, a few inches of snow or ice is all it takes sometimes to shut a city down and create hazardous conditions on the roads. Exercise just as much caution during small storms as you would during the large ones. The life you save may be your own.

Winter Safety Tip 3: Don’t overlook your disaster communications plan.

Although many of us prepare our houses, cars, and businesses for winter storms, we overlook preparing our families and employees for how we will contact one another if communication systems fail. For more information on family communication plans (which can easily be adapted for commercial use), check out resources through FEMA.

It’s our hope that you take these winter safety tips seriously. Given that during the winter of 2014, a single storm was responsible for the death of six Michigan residents, we know that there’s some room to grow in the area of education and preparedness. Here at Sneller Snow Systems, we’re interested in much more than just snow removal and ice management. We’re here to help educate and prepare our customers for whatever the coming months may bring to the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us or comment below.

Keep Your Business Open & Safe in Michigan Snow & Winter Weather

havey falling snow on cars - grand rapids snow removal

The average snowfall in Grand Rapids is about 75″ annually – and Lansing MI gets about 51″ of average annual snowfall. That’s a lot of snow! You never know when we may see another record-breaking year. With winter right around the corner, it’s a good idea to have a plan and weather apps in place to monitor Michigan snow and winter weather.

In your attempt to keep current with Michigan snow storm and winter-related current events during the upcoming snow season, be sure to take advantage of the following services.

Stay Connected During Severe Winter Weather

In addition to the free NOAA Weather Alert app, which really is a must-have for anybody living in parts of the country prone to extreme weather conditions, you may want to consider signing up for Storm Shield Weather Alerts. This second service offers the option of receiving either a call or a text for alerts, and you can log in up to three locations, considerably widening your safety radius for your Michigan business.

Staying connected to the latest predictions is the first and most important step in being prepared for severe weather. It is, of course, not the only step.

Be Prepared for Michigan Snow and Ice

Being alerted early in the event of a storm will do little to help you if you haven’t taken steps for safety during the storm. Consult the Winter Preparedness Guide for the State of Michigan to ensure that you, your home, and/or your business have taken the proper precautions for the safest possible outcome. We’ve also written some helpful posts on preparing for winter you might want to check out!

Safety during the storm is not your only concern. You must also deal with the aftermath. That’s why in addition to articles detailing how to prepare your home and your car, the Winter Preparedness Guide also offers the following advice for staying safe outside after a storm:

  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Sweating can lead to chill, hypothermia, and abnormally low body temperatures. Cold weather puts extra strain on the heart, so elderly with heart conditions should be especially cautious when out in the cold. This is a good reason for businesses to consider professional snow removal services, rather than asking employees to shovel after snowstorms.
  • Be careful when walking on snowy or icy sidewalks and take actions to be sure walkways and parking lots are safe for customers and employees.
  • If you are in the weather, do your best to keep clothes dry. Change wet socks and clothing quickly to prevent loss of body heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing in layers, with a waterproof outer layer. Wear a wool hat and mittens. Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body and can lead to severe hypothermia.

With so much danger inherent in storm clean-up, it’s good to let professionals do the heavy lifting for you. Remember that we here at Sneller Snow Systems stand ready to meet all commercial, West Michigan snow-removal and ice management needs. If you own a business located in the Grand Rapids or Lansing MI areas, please contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote.

How Winter Weather and Snow Affects Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan Businesses

Lansing Michigan Capitol in winter

All Michigan business will be affected by intense Michigan winters in various ways depending on your type of business and how prepared you are for the snow and ice. If you live in Grand Rapids or Lansing, you don’t need us to tell you winters are as unpredictable as they are cold, but let’s look at some of the details so you can be better prepared.

According to The National Weather Service, Grand Rapids had the coldest February ever recorded in 2015, which resulted in loads of school and business closings. And the Grand Rapids snowfall total for November 2014 broke historic records.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Businesses in Michigan?

The answer to this question depends upon the type of business, as well as the area of Michigan in which it is situated.  The largest determinant of winter impact on Michigan business is typically the amount of snow that falls (or, in some cases, fails to fall) in particular areas. Typically Western Michigan is hit with significantly more snow than Eastern Michigan.

Of course, some businesses thrive when Old Man Winter reaches out his frosty fingers.  Notably, ski resorts, Bed and Breakfast establishments and local restaurants often increase sales during intense or snowy winters. However, the effects of inclement weather on most businesses is not favorable. These detrimental effects are likely to include:

  • Property damage
  • Flooding
  • Employee absence, illness or injury
  • Lack of resource availability
  • Price fluctuations for resources needed in business operations
  • Increased costs of goods and services
  • Transportation and project delays
  • Need to increase prices to business patrons
  • Higher risk for potentially dangerous walkways and parking lots

Even businesses, reliant on snowfall for profitability, need professional and reliable snow removal services in order for customers to access their locations. This is particularly true in areas like Grand Rapids and Lansing, where Lake-effect Snow is a probability.

Contact our highly experienced team of snow removal experts to keep your business on track during long and bitter Michigan winters!

Reduce Liability and Improve Risk Management with These Winter Tips for Michigan Businesses

Snow Covered Parking Lot

If you are a Michigan business owner, your liability increases during the winter months, when people are most likely to slip and fall on snow and ice. There are several things you can do to reduce liability and improve risk management with these commercial property maintenance tips for winter that can be used by anyone to make their facility safer whether they are located in Michigan or anywhere in the world!

Basic Property Maintenance

Performing some basic property maintenance will help prevent debris from getting onto your sidewalks, driveways and walkways. Keeping debris off these areas is important, since leaves and twigs could be especially hazardous when covered with snow. Some maintenance tasks you should take care of before winter hits includes:

  • Cleaning gutters
  • Clearing water drainage areas
  • Trimming trees
  • Disposing of leaves

You should also inspect your sidewalks for cracks, sinking and heaving, then make any necessary repairs before winter strikes. Sidewalks with cracks, missing sections or crumbling mortar can become especially difficult to walk on when covered with a thin layer of ice.

Next, check outdoor lighting to see that it is working properly, and change burnt-out light bulbs as needed.

It’s also vital to check your water drainage and areas of water retention to be sure you have proper irrigation and grading so melting ice doesn’t pool in dangerous areas.

Interior Maintenance

Certain maintenance tasks should also be performed inside your building in order to prepare for winter storms. Don’t forget to:

  • Remove clutter from your entryways
  • Place a rug near your front entrance so that any snow tracked in can easily be contained
  • Check emergency lighting systems to ensure they are working properly
  • Place a bucket of sand, salt or other ice-melting material near your front door so it will be easily accessible when needed
  • Perform a check of any emergency warning systems your business may have

After performing all these maintenance tasks, your next step should be to contact us if you are located in the Grand Rapids or Lansing, Michigan regions. That way, you’ll have professional snow and ice management services in place throughout the winter. We have an ISO 9001 certified management system in place to be sure your property is safe for customers and employees 24/7 all winter long. With Sneller Snow Systems, you won’t have to worry about liability during the harsh Michigan winter that is to come!