Reduced daylight in the winter requires extra vigilance in parking lots to mitigate common hazards such as ice, moving cars, and encountering criminals with ill intent. Ensuring safe practices is especially relevant to staff who open or close and they should take extra precautions. Employers must encourage their teams to use safe practices, such as:
- Ensuring the parking lot has bright lights installed
- Staying alert and aware of their surroundings, keeping an eye out for potential hazards such as potholes, ice, or other obstacles
- Directing closing-shift workers to move their vehicles closer to well-lit parking spots before darkness falls
- Keeping keys and other personal items in hand and ready to use
- Backing into parking spots, enabling a quick departure if necessary
- Avoiding shortcuts through dark or isolated areas and stick to routes that are more visible to others
- Avoiding parking their cars next to large vehicles that can obstruct views and provide hiding spots for potential attackers
- Not lingering outside their vehicle and immediately locking all doors after entering
If employees would feel safer by being escorted to their car by a coworker, their supervisors should trust their employees’ instincts and respond accordingly. Supervisors should call the police if an employee suspects a threat is present in the parking lot.
More information can be found here:
Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].