Feb 10, 2021

How Can Portable Sanitation Businesses Ensure Winter Facility Safety?

Every winter, low temperatures and snowy weather causes damage to portable restrooms. The purpose of portable sanitation insurance is to cover these types of losses; however, many weather-related incidents are avoidable when owners and operators follow industry best practices for protecting facilities.

Here are some simple ways your portable sanitation clients can keep their costs low and minimize claims during cold weather.

Be Proactive

Some portable restroom insurance clients excel at their businesses’ day-to-day operation but may lack either the time or foresight to plan for emergencies. Encourage them to create an emergency preparedness plan. This document should include steps to ensure the safety of both employees and facilities in case of disasters, emergencies, or inclement weather.

Once their plans are in place, clients should focus on preparedness for winter weather in the short-term. Rather than assuming all employees pay attention to local forecasts, managers should designate one person to stay informed and to alert others when bad weather approaches. The following sources of reliable information are good ways to stay up to date on changing conditions:

  • Local news.
  • NOAA weather radio.
  • Trustworthy cell phone apps.
  • Reputable websites.

Prevent Damage

Although portable sanitation insurance covers freeze damage, applying some basic knowledge of chemistry keeps the liquid inside units from freezing and cracking the tanks. For example, adding a solute such as salt delays freezing, so does using a solvent with a naturally low freezing point. Providing a temporary source of heat or insulating with covers and skirts can also help prevent liquids from solidifying.

An airborne porta-potty may be funny on social media, but it is a nightmare for owners who must clean up the mess and file a portable restroom insurance claim. Winter weather sometimes brings gusty winds, so employees should secure units with stakes and lines. When windstorms are in the forecast, another option is to relocate restrooms to sheltered locations.

Ensure Safe Delivery

Portable sanitation insurance policies also cover employee liability during delivery and setup. Especially in areas accustomed to mild winters, delivery drivers may lack experience driving on ice and snow. One option employers might consider is a driver training class. Another is to provide training in the use of ratchet straps, snow chains for tires, and other means of securing both the units and the delivery vehicles on slick roads.

Business owners also need to protect employees from injury when working under dangerous weather conditions. Wet or chilled workers can succumb to hypothermia even when temperatures are above 40 degrees; thus, companies should maintain vehicle heaters in working condition to allow a place for people to warm up. Providing coveralls, gloves, and hats is another way to keep workers comfortable when temperatures are frigid.

About Tangram Insurance Services

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.