While potholes really can grab your attention, it’s important you don’t ignore shallow depressions in your parking and walking surfaces. Rain and melted snow can collect in those depressions and freeze to become “black ice,” a popular term for hard to see slick patches. Even a good clearing by plow or shovel doesn’t clear these depressions unless they are spotted by workers and treated directly.
These almost invisible sections of sidewalks and parking lots can be a source of slips and falls that could lead to substantial liability claims, especially if injuries are extensive or permanent.
Resurfacing and leveling these areas is usually a good investment in risk reduction, but don’t wait until the weather turns too cold to easily make repairs. Always hire a professional, experienced asphalt paver to complete any paving or repair project.
As you notice shallow depressions in your current walkways or parking areas, mark them on a map so your maintenance crew knows where to pay special attention and where to place warning cones should you get a freeze after a rainfall or snow melt. Making known areas of trouble a priority in responding during cleanup will help manage your risk. Even that simple risk-mitigation plan can reduce your exposure to slip-and-fall liability claims this winter.