Disaster Averted: How to Prevent Accidents at Your Self Storage Facility

Jon Fesmire |

Accidents happen. As a self storage operator, it’s your job to do everything you can to prevent them from happening at your facility.

If one word sums up this job, it’s this: diligence.

Staying on Top of Everything

It’s important to diligently keep up on your facility every day.That means doing your lock checks, making sure there are no spills around the facility, and so on. Aim to have basic repairs completed within the day. Clean up any spills, especially since wet floors and concrete can get slippery. Make sure items are neatly stacked and displayed in your store area. Replace any burned-out lights. Keeping your facility as tidy and safe as possible will reduce your liability in case of an accident.

Staff Knowledge

Keep your staff educated about workplace safety.

One aspect of that is having specific procedures outlined for all work tasks, from making photocopies to putting away cleaning materials. You may want to order or produce appropriate safety videos, and require that new employees watch them and pass a related quiz. When procedures change, make sure everyone is aware of the new steps.

Tenant Knowledge

It’s also important for your tenants to be aware of how to use your facility, and their units, safely. They should understand the proper use of roll-up doors, the risk of slipping when the ground gets wet, and whom to contact if they see a potential safety hazard. Consider getting safety brochures printed and include one in each tenant’s welcome folder, along with their contract.

Let your tenants know that they are welcome to put rubber flooring tiles in their units, to prevent falls. You may even consider selling these as a part of your storage facility’s retail offerings.

Inform your tenants that they should use a sturdy ladder instead of a step-stool if they need to reach something high.

For your employees and tenants, consider keeping safety-tip posters in your foyer or shop.

Before and After

While preventing accidents is the focus of this article, it’s still important to have an idea of how to handle things in case of an accident.

You should already have liability insurance coverage. The most basic is general liability, which covers a lot. However, it’s also important that the policy include medical coverage in case an employee or customer gets injured. Most states require that you have a workers’ compensation policy specifically to cover your employees. Even if your state doesn’t mandate it, get one anyway. In case a worker suffers a work-related injury, this covers their medical bills and salary for time lost.

Yes, even when you have taken all possible precautions to prevent accidents and injuries, they’re bound to occur at some point. When someone is injured, quickly determine the severity of the injury. A small cut or bump can be treated with a first-aid kit. More serious injuries will require you to call 911.

Though this may seem insensitive, don’t claim responsibility for the accident or apologize to the injured party. Just do all you can to ensure their safety and recovery. Unfortunately, if you accept blame the party can use that in court. Once the injured party is being treated or taken to the hospital, it’s time to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Include all information asked for, and make sure the hospital knows to contact your insurance as well. That covers the most important aspects of self storage safety for employees and customers. May your facility be as safe as possible.