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Car parks are a great service that can be made available to your members.  However they are also places that are subject to many safety hazards, including but not limited to: thefts, robberies, assaults, structural damage, car accidents and slip and falls.

If you are the owner of a parking area, you can take some simple and affordable measures to offer additional safety to visitors and members.  Although many incidents cannot be contested in court as negligence on your behalf, any breech in your duty of care could cause a claim.

Key Issues

The management of your car parking area should form part of your overall property risk management plan.  Each property has its own peculiarities, and therefore it is important that you identify the important priorities that apply to your specific situation and have a plan to address them.  Following are examples of ways to address some issues:

  • Light it.  Lighting your car park properly can prevent tripping accidents, robberies, and thefts.  Lighting can also assist your members in driving through your car park safely.
  • Paint it.  Maintaining paint on your bumpers, sidewalks, parking lines and necessary reflective surfaces can prevent many fender benders.  The more visible a potential hazard, like a poorly placed structural post, is to your members, the less likely they will be to have an accident.
  • Sign it.  Maintaining signs and/or posting additional signs can protect both you and your customers.  Exits, elevators, stairs, fire exits, fire extinguisher location, one-way traffic, stops, yields, narrow spaces, speed limits, speed bumps and emergency call buttons should all be properly indicated throughout your property.  Other signs can assist members, like public/private parking locations, and maps.  Any signs which you feel will assist your customers and make them safer should also be posted.  If theft is a real issue in your area, signage to remind members not to keep valuables in their car may also be an option.
  • Slow it.  Without doubt a critical element in reducing vehicle to pedestrian based accidents is to slow vehicles down.  Make sure speed limits are clearly signed, and where possible, apply slow down methods such as speed bumps.  Also ensure pedestrians have safe walking paths.
  • Secure it.  Security can also be maintained at high usage times through patrols or attendants.  The use of security cameras is also a solid option.  Thefts and robberies can be prevented by posting signs identifying that video surveillance is in use.
  • Maintain it:  Periodically assess the wear and tear on your parking areas.  Fixing potholes, crumbling concrete, crumbling bumpers, and worn parking lines will address tripping hazards and hazards to your customers’ vehicles.  It is also important to maintain gardens and environmental factors that reduce visibility and may cause hazards.

Protecting people and property is an important responsibility of any property manager.  Being deliberate in your car park risk management will provide a safer and more secure venue to achieve your overall organizational goals.

Adapted from article found at: http://www.publicliability.net.au/