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In 2009, Snow Magazine conducted the industry’s first research project examining slip-and-fall claims, how snow contractors dealt with those claims, and the impact they had on the overall operations. In 2012, the Accredited Snow Contractors Association conducted research that was similar to the original 2009 report, but limited in its scope. It should be noted that data from the 2009 and 2012 reports were used as comparisons when appropriate for reporting on the 2018 project.

During the first quarter of 2018, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, in partnership with sister publication Snow Magazine, the Accredited Snow Contractor’s Association (ASCA) and BOSS Snowplows, created a research project to identify trends regarding slip-and-fall claims filed against professional snow and ice management contractors. The survey was administered online via SurveyMonkey.

More than 225 professional snow and ice managers from around the U.S. and Canada completed the survey. As an added incentive to complete the survey, 10 participants will be chosen at random to receive $50 gift cards. Respondents were provided access to the questionnaire via a concentrated eblast and social media campaign that involved not only the Snow Magazine and ASCA websites, but also Facebook and Twitter.

So, who completed the survey? For the most part, respondents, on average had snow and ice management operations based in New England (43 percent) and the Midwest (34 percent) that earned less than $500,000 winter revenue. During an average winter, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of survey respondents deal with at least one slip-and fall claim.

Average annual snow and ice revenue

Location

With regard to professional development, more than half (59 percent) of survey respondents are ASCA members, of which 40 percent have earned their ASCA-C certification. Nine percent of respondents had earned ISO 9001/SN 9001 certification, and one-fifth of respondents indicated they were in the process of completing their ISO certification.

Certifications

Average slip-and-fall claims

Slip-and-fall claim outcome

Do the property owners you serve fully understand slip-and-fall risk?

Percent of customers who require hold-harmless agreements

Subcontractors must sign hold-harmless agreements to work for you

Who dictates when you provide salt & deicing services?

Over the last three years, have you walked away from an opportunity due to an unfair contract?

How frequently does a client alter the service terms dictated in the contract?

Insurance

Amount of insurance coverage

Over the last three years, has your snow policy rate increased?

Has an insurance carrier ever canceled your snow and ice management policy?