By: Ginger Dayton, Director of Occupational Health and Safety

According to the December Safety + Health Magazine by the National Safety Council article by Joe Bush, safety in parking lots and garages takes a collaborative effort. Parking lots are part of the employer’s premises and if an employee has a recordable injury in the company parking area, it may be considered work-related and need to go on the OSHA Log.

“Parking lots are an afterthought to a lot of people,” said James A. Solomon, Director of Defensive Driving Program Development and Training at NSC. In a recent poll, drivers showed a higher likelihood of using technology in a parking lot than on the highway or streets.

What increases risk in parking lots?

Presence of pedestriansRelaxed attitudes of drivers no longer in trafficBlind spotsReduced sightlinesDelivery trucksMore frequent turningDistracted driving and walking combined

What can employers do to reduce the risks in parking lots?

Ensure adequate lightingPost signs such as “Buckle Up” and “Don’t’ Text and Drive”Designate “compact car only” parking to reduce blind spotsConsider “back-in-only areas” to improve visibility during end of shift rushCreate awareness through emails, posters and face-to-face communicationsDesignate pedestrian walk ways – perhaps in raised crosswalksReduce speed – it’s the #1 issue in parking lots