You’re safe, right? You own the parking lot out front, and it’s got a few potholes, but no one sues over accidents that are outside of your office, do they? Unfortunately, they do. Here’s what you need to know to keep your parking lot safe and reduce your liability risk.
Install or Repair Lighting
According to Injuryclaimnyclaw.com, a personal injury and accident attorney on Staten Island, one of the best things you can do is improve the lighting in the lot. Lighting plays a major role in both perceived and actual safety — more so than any other measure you can take. Way too many businesses ignore this aspect of their parking lots and let them remain dimly lit. Not only does it make your business look less inviting to customers, it invites the wrong kind of attention.
A well-lit parking lot discourages thieves and other criminals who like to stay in the shadows and avoid
being seen. It will also help your employees see exactly what’s out there. You see, when a parking lot is dimly lit, it favors crime because your business will be well-lit. This means criminals can see your employees, customers, and you, but you can’t see them — the ultimate tactical advantage for a crook.
A well-lit parking lot neutralizes this advantage.If your lights are broken, have them repaired pronto. If your parking lot doesn’t have enough lights to begin with, have more installed.
Have An S.O.P. and Training Manual On Safety
It almost doesn’t matter how many times you tell your employees the rules. They’re going to forget
some of them. And, you might not be able to educate some new hires thoroughly before they start work. Make a basic safety guide that employees must read through and sign off on. Post the rules clearly so that everyone can see and understand them.
The rules should encourage employees to stay alert and cognizant of their surroundings. Employees should also be encourages to walk together and not alone when leaving the store or office building. They should be ready to open their vehicle door right away, and be able to immediately lock the door once they’re inside. They should not be fumbling with their keys at the door.
With the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and tablets, almost everyone can be caught texting on the job at some point. If you own your company parking lot, you should curb distractions by prohibiting phone use on your property. Why? Because it’s a distraction that could get the employee injured. This means: no headphones, texting, talking on the phone, no games or electronics that distract from being aware of one’s surroundings.
Give Employees A Safe Waiting Area
Make sure there’s a place for employees to wait for a ride home. This area should be well-lit and safe. If an employee needs to call a locksmith because they accidentally locked themselves out of their vehicle, they should not have to wait in the dark. Or, if employees have to wait for some other reason, you don’t want them waiting in an unsafe area.
Report All Suspicious Activity
Makes sure that employees, customers, and anyone else can easily report suspicious activity to the local
police. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity yourself, and teach employees how to recognize odd behavior. Give them a way to report it quickly.John Slater owns several retail stores, and though not managing the day-to- day operations, likes to keep a close eye on the businesses, making improvements and stopping problems from snowballing. His articles appear online at business sites.