7 Ways to Improve Car Park Safety in Winter
Cold weather and car safety don’t pair well together, and as a manager of premises with a car park, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of this space in winter. Luckily, by putting a few vital in measures in place, you can protect the wellbeing of everyone using your car park – motorists and pedestrians alike.
Why Do You Need a Car Park Safety Plan?
Employers have a duty of care towards employees and visitors, and this covers both internal and external spaces. Car parks must be maintained to safe standards throughout the year, and this is especially true in winter. The ice and snow can result in slips, trips and skids, which may not only cause injury and loss of life, but can also result in legal action against your business. That’s why it’s imperative to take steps to prevent any accidents due to bad weather. The importance of these preventative steps is highlighted in the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice for the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations.
How to Improve Winter Car Park Safety
- Conduct a risk assessment
The wise starting point is to conduct a risk assessment of your site to identify potential hazards in your car park, whatever the season. From this, it will be easier to create a plan to minimise common risks, but also risks that are specific to your individual site. You might want to pay special attention to areas that might impact people the most in bad weather e.g. entrances, slopes, areas underneath trees. Keep this assessment updated in the future, especially if your car park layout changes.
- Erect safety signs
Even on a winter day, some people may be on automatic by driving and walking with the same behaviours they would normally adopt. A few well-placed signs, warning people to slow down and be vigilant of the dangers will prompt people to change their behaviour.
Shorter, darker days mean that your workers will be leaving and arriving in the dark – this lack of light can affect visibility and impact safety. It’s vital that you introduce adequate lighting in the car park so that motorists and pedestrians can see dangers and obstacles with total clarity, even on the darkest of evenings.
- Clear away debris
Fallen leaves and twigs can present problems for tyre grip and pedestrian safety, especially if coupled with rainy and snowy showers. Ensure that somebody is assigned to regularly sweep away this debris to keep the car park obstacle-free.
- Consider flood-barriers
Here in the UK, rain is perhaps even more prevalent in winter than snow. With wet weather set to dominate the cold months in the future, it may be wise to erect flood barriers in your car park to keep it safe and functional even in the heaviest periods of rain.
- Snow clearance and gritting
Whether you have an on-site caretaker, or you employ a specialist company for the task, it’s imperative to ensure a responsive gritting service of your car park for when icy weather strikes. You may be reassured by the generally lower speed of vehicles in a car park, but any loss of tyre grip can cause injury, no matter the speed. With a high concentration of cars in one place, loss of control in a car park can cause thousands of pounds of damage if a collision were to take place. Clearing snow and gritting surfaces is a basic requirement of winter safety for your premises.
- Choose anti-skid markings and surfacing
Future-proof the safety of your car park with anti-skid surfacing. These paints are specially designed to provide a high-quality grip to motorists and pedestrians, which is especially important in icy conditions. Different coloured anti-skid paints can be used to draw clear directions and highlight different areas of the car park. Any markings must be laid by professionals to ensure that there is total accuracy, and also that the very best technology and paints are used.
If you’re searching for anti-skid car park markings of the highest quality, the team at Road Marking Services can help. As one of the UK’s leading marking contractors, our services adhere to high industry safety standards and we only use the most hard-wearing paints and materials to complete every job. To find out more about our services, please contact our team today. From our base in Sheffield, we serve customers across the nation.