Accidents have increased in parking lots operated by supermarkets, department stores, shopping centers, office buildings, as well as in facilities provided by employers for their employees. Accidents may result in personal injuries and property damage related to general liability insurance. Where employees suffer injuries, personal injury lawyers must respond.
Poor planning is a prime cause of parking lot accidents. It is good management to control the movement of pedestrians in these sometimes sprawling areas. They must be cautioned about where to walk and to watch for tell-tale signs of cars backing up or making turns. In some insurance pedestrians must be prohibited from criss-crossing lots as they please. Walk-ways should be marked and the markings properly maintained.
Entrance and exit signs, walkway signs, and other directional markets must be visible both to drivers and pedestrians. Lots should be engineered to bring cars in so they can be parked within designated stalls which allow enough room for maneuvering. Overcrowding of cars in restricted or limited-sized parking areas will result in dented fenders, dented car doors and disgruntled patrons.
Shopping center parking lots present a distinct problem. Shopping carts are a constant source of damage claims. Other hazards result from construction defects or poorly placed elements such as manhole covers and drains. Many people slip or trip on anything that deviates from the regularity of the walk areas and this includes grease or debris. Parking lots should be repaired as soon as faults develop such as potholes and debris should be removed regularly. This is definite need for carefully planned safety programs to make the most out of each parking lot in convenience and protection of customers and employees.
The coming of winter brings thoughts of cold, snow and ice, three “horsemen” of danger. These hazardous elements produce slippery conditions both within and outside of buildings, and especially sidewalk areas. Slippery steps, sidewalks and open areas such as parking lots can cause serious accidents. But much of the trouble can be avoided if the following safety rules are observed:
Use sawdust, sand and calcium chloride crystals on slippery surfaces. There are good non-skid materials. Never pour hot water on key surfaces in an effort to remove them. Hot water will freeze quickly. Icicles should be removed immediately from any cornice before they fall upon pedestrians. Drain leader discharges should not be permitted to freeze. Roof leaders must be kept clear. Snow removal work is made easier when using good snow and ice scrapers.
Frost bite among employees working on the outside is a danger. It can develop on any part of the body that is exposed to the cold. The best protection is wearing warm clothing. Where frost bite is suspected, do not rub the body area with snow or ice. This increases the risk of gangrene.