As a commercial property owner in Wisconsin, you are responsible for the removal of snow on the premises you own. This is often done through delegation to an on-site landlord or outsourced to a hired property management company. Whether your property is zoned for residential, commercial, or industrial use, failure to remove snow means fines, and possibly lawsuits. Our Milwaukee and Waukesha Commercial Property Snow Removal Checklist keep you, your residents, and their clients safe throughout the wet Wisconsin winter.
MILWAUKEE AND WAUKESHA SNOW REMOVAL ORDINANCES AND LAWSUITS
According to the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works, private property owners are required to clear their sidewalks and crosswalks of snow and ice within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. This includes corner and midblock crosswalks. Milwaukee violators receive a notice to clear the walk and a $50 fine. Property owners failing to comply with the notice receive an additional penalty of $75.
The ordinance regarding snow removal in Waukesha is more fast-acting. It states, “Within 12 hours after the snow has stopped, sidewalks should be cleared of snow or ice. After 12 hours, if the City receives a complaint of snow or ice-covered walk, the City will begin enforcement action.” If snow remains after the initial warning, the city sends a contractor to remove snow and ice and bills the property owner for the entire cost. Repeat violations incur additional fines.
In addition to fines by the city, failure to remove snow and ice promptly after a snowfall opens property owners up to potential lawsuits. According to the National Safety Council, slip and fall accidents cost American businesses over $70 billion every year! Createscape Landscaping keeps accurate records, taking a pro-active approach to have your back. We are a fully insured company that has had ZERO at-fault slip and falls in over 25 years.
MILWAUKEE AND WAUKESHA COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SNOW REMOVAL CHECKLIST
- By far, the most important step is to make a plan. Commercial snow removal contractors book early in the season. Begin interviewing prospective contractors or make contact with your preferred company. Develop a snow removal plan together.
- Place weather mats at all building entrances. The longer the mat, the better it will catch snow and water from pedestrian traffic. Check mats daily to make sure they are not creating a trip hazard.
- Notify building tenants of potential snow and ice hazards. Ask them to inform you immediately of any slip or fall threats they notice.
- Keep records of snow removal. A reputable snow removal contractor will do the same. This protects you from injury claims and lawsuits and fines issued by your municipality.
- When handling incidents, act quickly. If an accident or injury occurs, immediately fill out an incident report. Include the date and time of the occurrence, exact location, and the name, address, and phone number of the complainant. Detail what happened during and after the event. Report the complaint to your attorney. Take photos of the area and injury at the time of the accident, if possible.