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Parking lots are a special adjunct to many workplaces. Even though you may not be conducting your job there (unless you are a parking attendant or maintenance worker), there is still a possibility that you can be injured. Besides the risk of violence, the major risk includes falls resulting from slips and trips.
Workplaces can help reduce slip, trip, and fall injuries by having a written policy or procedure about the safe walking conditions and surfaces. Parking lots should be inspected on a regular basis and any defects repaired.
A smooth, even, flat surface is ideal for walking because it reduces the likelihood of twisted ankles or loss of balance which can lead to falls and other painful mishaps.
However, heavy use by both pedestrians and vehicle traffic both cause a parking surface to deteriorate. Figure 1 shows examples of damage to look for such as broken pavement, and gratings.
Leaks and spills of engine oil or antifreeze, which commonly occur wherever cars are parked, can further add to risks of slips and falls.
In outdoor parking lots, severe weather conditions additionally aggravate even slight damage to the parking surface. As a consequence the risk for falls due to slips and trips is relatively high in this environment.
Speed bumps and tire stops are usually not necessary in a well-designed parking lot. Besides potentially causing damage to vehicles, they create a yet another hazard for tripping - see Figure 2.
The layout of the parking area should make it impossible to drive unsafely or fast.
Otherwise, if speed bumps or tire stops are absolutely necessary:
Tire stops are serious tripping hazards particularly when parking slots are occupied. When tire stops are present, a few precautions are advised:
Falls can be prevented through a number of steps:
Good housekeeping includes:
Safety is everybody's duty, so workers as much as employers should: