ISO/SN 9001 Certification Strengthens Legal Protection for Snow Removal Companies

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April 27, 2016

Snowy winters can make for plenty of hazardous conditions, from being snowed in to slippery roads. Snow contractors clear roads, driveways and other surfaces to make them safe for navigation. Even with sufficient clearing by snow removal companies, winter weather can cause potential injuries, including slips and falls.

For snow contractors, slip and fall claims can be devastating. There are more than 30,000 claims filed against snow contractors each year, and without the correct documentation, it can be difficult for these professionals to prove their degree of liability. 

“More than 50 percent of the time when a claim is settled or lost it’s because of a lack of documentation,” said Kevin Gilbride, Executive Director, of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA).

The ASCA provides resources for snow contractors to protect themselves and their businesses against liability claims. One such resource is support for achieving ISO/SN 9001 certification. To achieve certification, businesses have implemented the processes and procedures needed for a quality management system.

“ISO/SN 9001 certification ensures snow contractors have the proper documentation,” said Gilbride. “Most of the contractors we work with already have 85-90 percent of the necessary documentation and processes in place, so it isn’t as hard as they may think.” 

Aside from supporting ISO/SN 9001 certification, ASCA provides members with insurance discounts through Mesa. After about one year, most members see that the reduced insurance rates have paid for the cost of becoming certified. 

The ASCA insurance program, provided by Mesa, has been in place for a year, and the data collected so far is revealing. Settlements for businesses with standard insurance average more than $15,000, while those who have achieved ISO/SN 9001 and are covered with Mesa insurance average $5,000. ASCA members see 70 percent of slip and fall claims dismissed, which doubles the 35 percent dismissal rate for those without the ASCA provided insurance.

“With the Mesa program and ISO/SN 9001 in place for over a year, we now have the data to verify that certification has an impact on insurance rates and claims against snow contractors,” said Gilbride. “It is a big change for our small service industry. I expect that the number of snow removal companies achieving certification will grow significantly this year and in the years to come.”

Check out the Smithers Quality Assessments SN9001 overview guide.


Related Tags:ASCA, ISO/SN 9001, SN 9001