While you may not think of it this way, any accident that happens within your parking lot can be considered a workplace accident, or at least something that causes logistical issues for your business. As such, you might need to be more proactive about working to reduce various types of risk you or your employees face in that area.
The following tips will help you do just that, and further promote a strong workplace safety culture:
1) Paint arrows to direct traffic
One of the simplest ways to avoid accidents in a parking lot is to effectively make the flow of traffic a series of "one-way streets," according to Employers.com. When vehicles and pedestrians are all moving in the same direction, the risk of a collision is greatly reduced, so painting some arrows to direct everyone in the right direction is a good idea.
2) Illuminate every square inch
For a lot of reasons, it's advisable to make sure all areas of your parking lot are well lit, Employers.com said. This helps drivers and pedestrians alike see what's going on around them more easily, reducing the risk of not only collisions, but also unsavory characters skulking around the area.
3) Keep the pavement in good shape
Other major hazards in a parking lot include potholes, cracks and worn-down pavement these can present problems for vehicles and people, Employers.com further added. Workers can stumble over a crack, cars can hit a pothole and lose control, and crumbling pavement can be a big traction problem. Keep an eye on the concrete's condition.
4) Encourage employees not to leave valuables
A big safety problem in any parking lot arises when workers leave valuables in their vehicles, because it (potentially) encourages criminal activity, according to ConnectedHR. As a general rule, they should strive to either bring high-priced equipment into the building with them, or leave it at home.
5) Avoid distractions
Everyone in your parking lots should be keeping their heads on a swivel at all times, ConnectedHR cautioned. That means not looking at their phones, not listening to music, not fishing for something out of a pocket or purse, and so on. This will help all involved be more cognizant of their surroundings and reduce careless accidents.
6) Have a plan to handle snow, ice and rain
If you operate out of an area where harsh weather can make your parking lot more dangerous, you need to be able to handle those issues as they arise, according to Canal HR. Installing more drainage for rainwater, having a snowplow service on standby and tasking workers with clearing ice (either with tools or chemical melters) is always a good idea.
7) Encourage better driver behavior
Finally, it's especially important for the people who are behind the wheel in your parking lot to be extra careful and cognizant of the risks they take, Canal HR warned. For instance, even one driver who's cutting across open parking spaces because it's a quicker way to the exit could be creating unnecessary hazards for pedestrians, other drivers and themselves.