Preparing for a Season of Shivers: Mitigating Risk for Salons and Spas when Winter Weather Hits

Mitigating Risk for Salons and Spas when Winter Weather Hits

As winter quickly approaches, so does the ever-dreaded winter weather. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this winter will be one of longest and coldest in history. The cold temperatures are set to accompany snow and extreme weather for some areas of the country as well. Winter weather such as snowfall, icy roads and freezing rain can bring unique risks and challenges to salons and spas.

Some winter weather related risks that salons and spas are vulnerable to include property damage, slip-and-fall accidents, loss of power, road closures, unsafe driving conditions, employees unable to come to work and risks related to freezing temperatures (hypothermia, frostbite, frozen pipes and more).

One of the best ways salons and spas can protect their business from winter weather related risks is by having an emergency action plan (EAP), complete with updated contact information for all staff and a client communications plan for cancelations and closures.

All employees should know their roles in the event of a winter weather advisory and the EAP should include a complete checklist of what tasks need to be completed and who should complete them. Practicing the plan and ironing out any details before the bad weather hits will ensure a smoother process when the snow and freezing temperatures arrive.

Here are some additional steps salons and spas can take to protect their business before, during and after a winter weather event:

Before:

  • Assess the risks: Know which products may not be able to handle freezing temperatures or which employees cannot come in should schools/childcare close.
  • Prepare contingencies: Make sure more than one staff member has a key to the business in case someone can’t make it in and pre-record the main salon/spa phone message to include any important information for clients.
  • Prepare and fortify your property: Lay down rock salt to prevent ice from forming and set thermostat temperatures higher to prevent pipes from freezing over.

During:

  • Keep all driveways, walkways and doorways clear of snow and ice.
  • Follow all municipal and first responder suggestions and have an open line of communication with emergency services if necessary.
  • Have clear messaging and communication with clients: social media is a great way to communicate general messaging, but all clients with appointments should receive individual phone calls or emails.
  • Make sure all employees can safely make their way to work or advise them to stay home.

After:

  • Assess any damage and immediately report any necessary claims to the salon/spa’s insurance carrier.
  • Reach out to clients to reschedule any canceled appointments.
  • Assess how the emergency plan worked, how employees followed it and adjust as needed.
  • Prepare for snow and/or ice removal.

While avoiding any winter weather incidents is impossible, recent developments in meteorology provide more advance warning for when a storm will hit, giving businesses time to prepare and protect their business.

Implementing these steps and having an EAP can go a long way in protecting salons and spas from the increased risk of property damage and slip and fall incidents during the winter months. In addition to these measures, beauty business owners can work with their insurer to make sure they have the coverage they need. Having the proper procedures in place, purchasing the right insurance policies and understanding the coverage of those policies will help keep salons and spas out of the cold this winter.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at klopez@brownyard.com.

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