Even if you take safety seriously, you might not spend a lot of time thinking about your parking lot. That could be a mistake. Parking lots contain numerous hazards. If a customer is injured because of a hazard you failed to address, you could be hit with a big lawsuit. If an employee is injured, you could be on the hook for workers’ compensation. Maintaining good parking lot safety can help you avoid incidents.
Inadequate lighting can contribute to falls and other accidents. Poor lighting may also contribute to crime. Make sure you have enough lights. When lights go out, fix them promptly. Also, make sure lights turn on at the right time. It gets dark early in the winter, so the lights will have to come on earlier.
Paint and Signage
Paint markings and signs can be important for safety. For example, signs and paint can do the following:
Identify tripping hazards, such as steps and curbs
Identify pedestrian crosswalks
Post rules and disclaimers
Make sure you have all the signs and paint markings you need, and replace signs or repaint as needed. Also, paint can make surfaces slippery, but anti-slip paint provides texture for better traction.
Parking lot tripping hazards can contribute to falls. Some tripping hazards are caused by wear and tear, and they should be fixed promptly. For example, potholes, cracks and broken wheel stops should be repaired.
Watch for shopping carts and other items that could contribute to injuries. Provide a place for carts and collect them regularly.
You can’t control the weather, but you can minimize the safety impact.
Good drainage can prevent puddles. This is important because puddles can hide potholes and other tripping hazards. Puddles may also contribute to damage.
Clear ice and snow. If snow is allowed to remain in the parking lot, it may melt and refreeze, creating dangerous black ice. After a snowstorm, clear the parking lot of snow. Consider using road salt or another de-icer as a preventative measure, but keep in mind that road salt can have negative effects on cars and the environment, and local laws may restrict usage.
Out of sight, out of mind – but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Monitor your parking lot so you can identify any problems and take corrective action.
Security, both in the form of surveillance cameras and security guards, can help keep your parking lot safe. If there’s an incident, surveillance cameras may also provide important evidence.
Inspections can help you spot problems. Conduct regular inspections, and make sure you keep records.
Download our Parking Lot Safety Tip and regularly train and monitor your team to ensure best practices are followed. Talk to the grocery insurance team at RiskPoint Advisors to ensure you have adequate protection against this costly exposure.
Joe Scarpello Melissa Johnson