Firm-Wide blog

Shovel, Sand, Salt, Repeat — Keeping your Sidewalk Safe this Winter

By Burg Simpson
April 5, 2017
3 min read

Colorado gets lots of snow, and Denver, along with many other municipalities, mandate that property owners keep sidewalks clear of snow. Snow and ice that accumulates on walkways, driveways, and exterior stairs can be hazardous, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with limited mobility. To prevent wintry slip and fall accidents, Denver’s residents and property owners should take care to become familiar with the city’s snow removal guidelines.

To prevent costly accidents, property owners should:

  • Clear sidewalks and driveways within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. For businesses, snow must be cleared within four hours
  • Clear all walkways adjacent to the property, including stairs
  • Clear ramps and other disability access features within the same timeframe
  • Report un-cleared sidewalks by calling Denver 3-1-1

Property owners should, of course, take care to protect themselves while shoveling:

  • Dress in layers when shoveling to stay warm
  • Wear proper non-slip footwear while shoveling to prevent falls
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before and after shoveling
  • Lift shovel properly, with legs bent
  • Prevent back strain by moving snow to the side, not twisting to throw over the shoulder
  • Use the right shovel for the right job

Shovel often during a storm, so as to never need to lift too much snow at once. If more than one wave of snowfall is expected, it is a good idea to shovel between storms. Accumulated snow can get extremely heavy, and sudden heavy lifting can lead to back pain, muscle strain, torn ligaments, and even heart attacks.

Elderly people and those with heart conditions or a history of strokes should avoid shoveling snow altogether. The combination of cold weather and strenuous exercise can be a strain on the heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 16,000 adults are treated for shoveling-related injuries in hospitals each winter.

Failure to Clear Snow and Ice May Lead to Injury and Liability

If a sidewalk is not properly cleared of snow and ice, and someone slips and falls, the property owner could be responsible. If the person sustains an injury that results from the fall, the injured victim has the right to pursue a premises liability lawsuit.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you might be eligible to collect compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your case, call a Denver injury lawyer at Burg Simpson Law Firm. Call 303-792-5595 to contact a premises liability lawyer or visit us online to schedule your free consultation now!

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