You want your employees to feel safe and comfortable in the company parking lot. As your workers come to and from their cars each day, they shouldn’t have to worry about dangerous situations or suspicious people.
However, parking lots can seem like threatening places, especially for female employees. Whether or not you believe your parking lot could play host to criminal activity or illicit behavior, you should still follow some basic guidelines for parking lot safety. Here are 8 ways
you can protect your company parking lot and educate your employees on how to stay safe out there.
1) Install or Repair Lighting
Lighting plays a bigger role in safety than almost any other measure you can take. Too many companies neglect the lighting in their parking lots and let them stay dim. However, a well-lit area will discourage thieves and other criminals as well as help your employees see exactly what’s around every corner.
If you have broken lights, call a repair company as soon as possible. In the meantime, alert your employees and remind them to stay vigilant. If you feel like your parking lot doesn’t have enough lights to begin with, have some installed.
2) Post Rules and Suggestions
No matter how many times you tell your employees the rules, they’re still likely to forget. You also might not be able to adequately educate every new hire who comes through. To make basic safety guidelines accessible to everyone, post clearly written rules and suggestions in plain sight.
These rules should encourage employees to do things such as:
- Stay alert. Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t get distracted.
- Walk with other people whenever you can.
- Be ready to open your vehicle right away. Have your keys ready before you reach your car.
- Lock your doors right after you get in your car, and don’t linger in the lot.
Posted rules serve as good reminders to everyone.
3) Restrict Headphones and Earbuds
If you own your company parking lot, you can restrict headphone and earbud usage on the property. Music can be a dangerous distraction, especially since it prevents people from hearing things around them. Some thieves and criminals also look out for people who seem distracted or who won’t be able to hear them coming.
Even if you can’t ban headphones entirely, discourage your employees from using them in the parking lot. Workers should wait until they enter the building to use this kind of equipment.
4) Provide a Safe Waiting Area
If workers have to wait for a ride home or a locksmith to get their keys out of the car, you don’t want them hanging around in the parking lot. Provide your workers with a safe space to wait. If you don’t want people hanging out in your building’s lobby, set aside another room. You should also remind employees that they should wait there, rather than in the parking lot, if for some reason they can’t leave immediately.
5) Report Suspicious Activity
Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your parking lot and encourage your employees to do the same. Teach your workers how to recognize odd behavior and give them a way to report it as quickly as possible. The more eyes you have watching out for things, the less likely it is that you’ll have to deal with a criminal situation.
Suspicious behavior includes:
- People who stay in the same place in their cars for long periods of time.
- People who wander aimlessly about and don’t appear to belong there.
- People carrying bags or concealing objects.
- People who walk around, look into different cars, and try the door handles.
- People who conduct business from vans or trucks.
Report these kinds of activities to the police or your security force.
6) Encourage Security Escorts
If you have security staff at your company or in your office park, encourage your workers to ask for an escort if they have to walk through the parking lot after dark. Security guards often walk people to and from their cars to ensure their safety.
If you don’t have security guards, ask your workers to use the buddy system. They should walk to and from the building with a friend or group of people.
7) Set up a Training
Set up a short training session for your employees on how to stay safe in parking lots. You could even include some basic self-defense training. Self-defense knowledge can empower people to take control of otherwise dangerous situations.
8) Install Security Cameras
If your parking lot doesn’t already have them, install visible security cameras. Sometimes the mere presence of cameras can discourage illicit activity.
Take Care of Your Employees
Your parking lot doesn’t have to be a dangerous place. With the proper precautions, all your employees can feel safe and secure at work.