The Impact of COVID-19 on the Snow and Ice Workforce

By Martin Tirado posted 11-09-2020 16:31


In a recent member survey, workforce availability was indicated as the #1 challenge that will impact business growth in the next three years. This labor challenge is not new, however it may be exacerbated by the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 which will temporarily suspend their availability in the workforce. Add to that the typical seasonal flu season and this winter may present some significant challenges for snow and ice companies to perform their essential services. 

As a result, SIMA is issuing the following press release to encourage all snow and ice service companies to be diligent in their health and sanitation practices, to educate their customers on this workforce challenge and to encourage increased participation of working in the snow and ice sector.

The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) has issued a warning regarding a potential labor shortage for private snow and ice management/removal companies this upcoming winter season, due to long-standing low-labor availability in the US and Canada, coupled with continued COVID-19 outbreaks and the upcoming Influenza season.

Snow and ice management business is difficult work, often with long hours and non-standard shift times. These professionals brave the snow and ice each year to clear a safe path for driving patrons and walking pedestrians at commercial facilities, medical facilities and hospitals, gas stations, educational institutions, industrial sites, and much more. 

SIMA CEO Martin Tirado, CAE, says: “This season there is an increased risk of a shortage of a healthy workforce ready and willing to participate in this tough work. COVID-19 and standard Influenza may cause a larger-than-normal loss of labor hours and people during certain periods of the winter season, and may impact the ability of professional snow and ice management companies to conduct the work they are tasked with during strong and often severe winter storms.”

The snow industry is seeking individuals who aren’t afraid to work, can brave cold temperatures, and are interested in earning quality pay while doing work that keeps the economy open and citizens safe during and after winter snow and ice events.

SIMA encourages anyone seeking work to consider reaching out to their local landscaping and snow contracting firms and inquiring about seasonal winter work.