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Managing Safety in Your Business Car Park

Having a car park for the use of employees and guests has a host of benefits. In fact, being able to allocate space for an employee’s car in a safe environment is often one of the benefits cited in job descriptions. As an employer, safety should always be your main focus. And, with a car park to manage, there are additional risks you need to consider. This guide will give you the advice and tools needed to manage your business car park effectively.

What Risks Are There in Car Parks?

It’s important to start off by gaining a clear understanding of what the specific hazards are in a business car park. For many of us, managing this unique environment can raise its own challenges when it comes to knowledge and skill set. However, if we take a look at the risks to both vehicle and pedestrian safety, it’s easier to understand where the potential problems can occur.

Vehicle Collisions

Some of the most frequent car park accidents happen as a result of vehicle collisions. This could happen between:

  • A parked car and one reversing into a space.
  • A car driving away from a parking space and colliding with one driving past.
  • Driver distraction causing collisions.

This problem is largely the result of poor car park organisation. You need to ensure that visibility is clear, lighting is ample and there are signs available to help direct the flow of traffic. To prevent these sorts of accidents, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear understanding of where the greatest risks are and what is causing these to become an issue. It is your responsibility to ensure:

  • Car park spaces are well-maintained and kept clean at all times.
  • Appropriate road markings are used to differentiate between car park spaces, driving routes, and pedestrian walkways.
  • All car parking spaces need to be the right size for all sized-vehicles you expect to be using them.
  • Car park grounds should be properly maintained and kept level.
  • If working with a larger space, consider creating designated areas for employees, guests, and suppliers. This will restrict access by various vehicles and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Ensure you have appropriate car park signs to direct people to the right locations.

The Safety of Pedestrians

Car parks are unique in that you regularly have a mix of pedestrians and vehicles moving in very close proximity to each other. While most people take action to protect themselves, the hazard still remains. As an employer, you need to consider how serious the injury to a pedestrian could be in comparison to that of a vehicle. For this reason, implementing the right preventative measures is imperative. Consider points such as:

  • Is the route from the car parking area to the main building safe, clearly marked, and maintained regularly?
  • Are your disabled parking spaces or those for people with children situated closely to the building and in access to a clear route?
  • Is there enough room on each side of the car parking space to allow people to exit and enter their vehicles?
  • What is the procedure in place for maintaining walkways – particularly during bad weather or in the event of a spillage?
  • Could you install physical barriers to prevent pedestrians from straying on to driving paths?
  • Is the car parks amply lit, particularly during the evening and in more secluded areas?

The Impact of the Environment

Whether your car park is outside or underground, differing weather conditions can have a significant impact on safety. Factors such as ice or heavy rain can cause surfaces to become slippery while also reducing grip for tires. This is also the case for excessive leaves dropping – all complications that may not be immediately obvious until they are posing a significant problem. Consider:

  • Do you have the equipment, such as grit and trowels, to de-ice or remove snow from areas of your car park? There should be someone designated with this responsibility who can perform these tasks in advance of the main influx of drivers.
  • The same should be said for fallen leaves. Consider whether it would be more proactive to have these trees or bushes cut back during Winter to minimise this hazard. Or, you’ll need designated employees who will be tasked with clearing these away.
  • Are the drainage systems in your car park well-maintained and in full working condition?

Theft

Leaving your car and valuables unattended in a car park inevitably brings up the hazard of theft. There are very few environments where this risk can be entirely eliminated. However, if you are offering your business car park to employees or visitors, you’ll want to take actions that minimise the risk of thieves and criminals gaining access to these vehicles. We recommend:

  • Installing CCTV systems and CCTV signs around your car park. Not only will this allow you to monitor the entire space, but it will also act as a deterrent.
  • Use a ticketing or ANPR system that recognises license plate numbers to restrict who is able to access the car park.
  • Consider hiring car park security staff to physically monitor the space when it’s in use.

How to Perform a Risk Assessment for Your Car Park

As with the implementation of any safety measures, it is important that you perform a risk assessment for your business car park. This will flag the specific hazards, where they are most prominent, and which are likely to cause the most damage. You can use this information to decide on what areas of risk can be entirely eliminated or which need to be better managed through new procedures or technology.

There is no structured risk assessment as it needs to be individual for your business. However, a good risk assessment will:

  1. Identify the hazard.
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on the necessary actions to eliminate or reduce.
  4. Record your findings and implement actions.
  5. Regularly review risk assessment findings and update, if necessary.

Car Park Safety Signs

We have mentioned above how the right car park safety sign can significantly reduce the number of hazards. Here at Lasting Impressions, we have a range of General Parking Signs, including:

Alongside these, our CCTV signs provide a sense of security all day and night. Here at Lasting Impressions, we specialist in safety signs for all environments and, specifically, those designed to help business owners. If you would like support in creating a safe car park or cannot find what you’re looking for, get in contact with the team here today.