Sunday, September 24, 2017

Training primer

SIMA offers options to educate and prepare your teams

Training your snow teams can be overwhelming; which is why SIMA has made it easy to access safety and training resources as part of its commitment to membership. Snow Safety Week. New training videos. ASM University. Online CSP testing. Snow Safety Bootcamp. All of these and more are just a click away. Here are some tips on how to integrate SIMA’s available resources into your day-to-day operations:

Retaining key employees
Consider staggering training over time. Investing in your administrative and operational teams through Advanced Snow Manager and Certified Snow Professional training will show that you value them and will increase the skill and knowledge of your organization. Talk with your team and set up a two- to three-year plan to increase the number of ASMs and CSPs you have on staff.

Members can leverage the SIMA Training Commitment ($200 discount) to get one person in your organization started with ASM or CSP training. ASM University is another easy way to sign up more than one person for ASM and save money on each registration.

Preseason basic training
For basic training of operational personnel, leverage the members-only Snow Safety Boot Camp by downloading the PowerPoint and integrating the information into your existing preseason training. To ramp up your preseason training, invest in SIMA’s six new training videos available at

Training champion
Identify the person in your organization who is passionate and committed to snow safety training and designate them as your training champion. Recognize them and encourage them to visit for training-specific materials available to SIMA members. Connect them to and to receive access to free, quality stories that can be easily turned into tailgate talks and other training opportunities.

Enhance the value
Communicate your formal training strategy, including use of these SIMA resources, to your customers, prospects and insurance providers. Each of these audiences will see value in professional safety and skills-based training and will help you continue to differentiate yourself in your market. 

Building training with quick tips
Since the launch of the SIMA Library at about two years ago, we’ve been creating content that is relevant, high quality and easy to access.

Our Quick Tips section is a tangible example of this strategy. Since 2015, we’ve provided a monthly focused topic that can be read quickly. The Quick Tips library includes:
  • Conduct A Job Hazard Analysis
  • Spotters for Snow Removal Services
  • Establishing A Tailgate Training Program
  • Tying Up Postseason Loose Ends
  • Fuel Storage for Cold Weather
  • Light It Up, Legally
  • Using Video for Training, Documentation
  • Throw A Snow Rodeo
  • Staking Best Practices
  • Preseason Prep
  • Certificate of Insurance Protocols
  • Equipment Purchasing: What to Know Before You Buy
  • Backup Cameras & Safety
  • Create Better Customer Surveys
  • Cutting Edge and Plow Shoe Maintenance
  • Get A Jump on Rust
  • Combating Driver Fatigue
  • Walking Safely in Snow and Ice
  • Planning for Equipment Breakdowns 
  • Prepare for Snow Removal Site Damage Now
  • Storing Plows in The Off-Season
To access all of the Quick Tips, visit Special thanks to BOSS Snowplow for their support as our Quick Tips sponsor.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Snow Safety Week is back

'In early 2017, SIMA conducted a survey related to injuries in the industry, and the results reinforced the need for us to continue to provide safety training and information for those fighting winter weather each season.'

Since 2013, the SIMA Education Committee has made safety a primary focus for educating the industry. SIMA’s Snow Safety Week, an annual week-long event with articles, videos, webinars and more, has played a significant role in bringing that safety focus to the forefront. The amount of snow management-specific safety information we have generated in these past five years has been beneficial - but there’s always room for more! This year, we proudly celebrate the fifth anniversary of Snow Safety Week, October 23-27, 2017. 

Why safety training?
In early 2017, SIMA conducted a survey related to injuries in the industry, and the results reinforced the need for us to continue to provide safety training and information for those fighting winter weather each season. Let’s recap a few key stats:
  • 23% of companies had one or more injuries in the past season resulting in lost work time.
  • Over 50% of injuries/lost time occurred due to an employee slipping and falling.
  • 58% of respondents indicated that sleep deprivation was the root cause of most injuries to their workforce, followed by 35% relating it to employee attitudes toward safety.
As we planned this year’s Snow Safety Week, we kept these stats in mind and will begin chipping away at these challenges: making workers less prone to injuries from slip and falls, along with reducing the impact of sleep deprivation and examining its effects on safety in the industry. This year’s lineup includes:
  • Webinars focusing on employee slip and falls and workplace conflict.
  • New articles covering a variety of topics on personal health and safety.
  • 10-minute Facebook Live events to talk safety with Safety Week sponsors. 
In addition, past Snow Safety Week resources are in the SIMA Library at

Learn more about Snow Safety Week at Special thanks to our 2017 Snow Safety Week sponsors: BOSS Snowplow, FCA Commercial and Caterpillar Inc. for their commitment to industry safety. 

Commit to safety
SIMA is constantly looking at safety resources that we can build for the benefit of the snow and ice management industry. We urge you to commit to safety as well. Here are five ways to help you elevate safety within your company:
  1. Access SIMA’s members-only Snow Safety Boot Camp course at for basic training on nutrition, sleep management, stress management and walking safely on snow and ice.
  2. Challenge your snow teams to actively participate in Snow Safety Week by viewing the webinars and by reading and sharing the tips provided in the articles and Facebook Live events.
  3. Review your snow-specific safety training and seek to align it with the entire season vs. simply conducting preseason training.
  4. Commit to safety at the top and consider instituting annual safety awards or a recognition program for your team.
  5. Audit your managers/crew leaders and identify safety champions vs. those who might cut corners. Attitudes toward safety internally can be the difference between a safe winter season and a catastrophic injury.
As always, SIMA wants to hear from you. If there is a major safety-related area of interest to you, please email