Beginning in November, 2013 commercial salt applicators certified by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) under RSA 489-C — and property owners or managers who hire them — are granted liability protection against damages arising from snow and ice conditions under RSA 508:22.
The purpose of the voluntary certification program is to:
1. Improve efficiency in salt use, such that the least amount of salt is used to ensure safe conditions on surfaces traveled by pedestrians and vehicles in winter conditions;
2. Reduce the amount of salt used by commercial applicators, as measured in tons of salt per acre per year, over time while maintaining safe conditions for pedestrians and vehicles in winter conditions; and
3. Establish a voluntary system for commercial salt applicators to track their salt use and provide information annually to the salt accounting system.
508:22 Liability Limited
For Winter MaintenanceI. No commercial applicator as defined in RSA 489-C:1, II and certified under RSA 489-C:2, or owner, occupant, or lessee of land whose premises is maintained by a commercial applicator certified under RSA 489-C:2, shall be liable for damages arising from insufficiencies or hazards on any premises owned, occupied, maintained, or operated by them, even with actual notice thereof, when such hazards are caused solely by snow or ice, and the commercial applicator’s, owner’s, occupant’s, or lessee’s failure or delay in removing or mitigating such hazards is the result of its implementation, absent gross negligence or reckless disregard of the hazard, of best management practices for winter road, parking lot, and sidewalk maintenance adopted and published by the NH Department of Transportation and the NHDES. All commercial applicators, owners, occupants, or lessees who adopt such best management practices shall be presumed to be acting pursuant to the best management practices in the absence of proof to the contrary.
- II. In order to receive the liability protection provided in paragraph I, a commercial applicator as defined in RSA 489-C:1, II, or an owner, occupant, or lessee of land shall keep a written record describing its winter road, parking lot and property maintenance practices. The written record shall include the type and rate of application of de-icing materials used, the dates of treatment, and the weather conditions for each event requiring de-icing. Such records shall be kept for a period of 3 years.
- Source: 2013, 144:123, eff. Sept. 26, 2013.
This is an excellent risk management activity to prevent incidents and offer greater protection to NHADA members from liability arising from weather-related claims. If you clear your own property or contract it out, it makes sense to use someone with this certification and maintain necessary records.