Winter Car Park Safety Tips
The workplace regulations in place for protecting employees are considerable, with employers having a duty of care to offer a safe working environment. These regulations don’t just cover the area of the inside of a building but also the car park of the premises too. Car park management plans must be put in place to prevent accident and injuries from occurring in the car park.
All too often the safety of the car park area is overlooked, but this can become a problem when winter descends. Changes in the weather mean that there are increased instances of falls, slips and trips caused by ice, uneven surfaces or obstructions causing a hazard. So, what are the duties of an employer in terms of car park safety?
The duty of an employer is to ensure the car park presents no hazards. This means that during winter, obstructions like leaves, blown branches, snow and ice should be cleared. Areas where pedestrians walk, and cars drive should have sufficient grip, which means gritting or sanding when ice causes slippery conditions. For Gloucestershire Car Park Gritting, visit http://www.contract-gritting.co.uk/ Any potholes should be filled immediately, and extra attention paid to the grip on sloping surfaces.
An employer must carry out a risk assessment on the outside areas and take account of any additional risks caused by winter weather. These can include:
Leaves and rain
Leaves that have fallen from nearby trees will decay and become slippery, especially if it’s also been raining. This can cause people to slip as wet leaves can be as hazardous as ice. They can also mask an uneven surface or worse, a pothole.
A heavy downpour can lead to surface flooding. Making sure paths are laid in the right location, installing canopies, flood barriers or signage will help prevent any slips as a result of excessive rainfall.
Ice and snow
The impact of freezing weather conditions must be minimised on your premises and form a major part of your car park risk assessment. Gritting is recommended, and you only need to grit those areas that provide crucial access to designated areas. Gritting is a cost-effective and speedy service to use. It commonly uses rock salt and acts by melting any existing ice and snow and stopping new layers from forming.
Reducing Speed – When weather conditions begin to deteriorate, it’s also wise to restrict the speed at which vehicles can travel into and out of your site. Signs can be placed advising drivers to restrict their speed during the autumn and winter months. Another investment idea could be installing speed bumps to prevent drivers from entering or exiting the car park too quickly.