Beyond the Workplace: Extending Safety Measures to Outdoor Areas

woman walking down the street
  • Employers must prioritize employee safety beyond the office, with 70% of crimes against employees occurring outside the immediate workplace.
  • Ensure proper lighting and visibility in outdoor areas like walkways and parking lots to minimize risks of trips and falls.
  • Maintain even surfaces by inspecting and repairing holes, tiles, or paving stones; consider installing rubberized mats for extra safety.
  • Implement clear signage to direct employees, remind them of safety protocols, and ensure they are visible.
  • Provide waterproof deck coverings to create stable surfaces in high-traffic outdoor areas, reducing slip hazards and ensuring a safe pathway.

It is common for most organizations to prioritize employee safety within the walls of their office spaces. However, that is not the only place where employees face safety risks. Outdoor areas such as parking lots, garages, and outdoor gathering spaces can be just as dangerous.

Recent studies have shown that over 70% of crimes against employees occur outside the immediate workplace, making it imperative for businesses to extend safety measures to these areas.

Employee safety is a top priority for any business and doesn’t just stop at the workplace. Employees must be safe inside and outside the building, especially if they have to walk through walkways or sidewalks. The employer must ensure that all safety measures are in place, even in outdoor areas.

This is especially important when temperatures drop to freezing during the rainy or winter months. This blog post will discuss how to extend safety measures to outdoor areas and provide tips on ensuring your employees are always safe.

Implementing Safety Measures for Walkways and Sidewalks

Employees’ safety must always come first when they use outdoor walkways and sidewalks. To minimize the risk of trips, falls, or other injuries, it’s essential to have the following:

Proper Lighting and Visibility

Having adequate lighting and visibility along the walkways and sidewalks can help reduce the risk of accidents during low-light or nighttime hours. It’s essential to adequately illuminate all outdoor areas your employees may need to traverse, such as stairs or walkways.

Using motion-activated lights or timers can help ensure that they are only used when needed. Installing reflective tape on railings and other surfaces can also help to increase visibility in dark or poorly lit areas.

Maintaining Even Surfaces

Uneven surfaces can be dangerous for employees, especially if carrying heavy tools or equipment, such as ladders or machinery.

Regularly inspect outdoor surfaces and make necessary repairs, such as filling holes or replacing damaged tiles or paving stones. It might be necessary to install rubberized mats as an extra safety measure.

Clear Signage and Markings

Clear signage and markings are essential to any safe outdoor area. Signage can direct employees where to go, show areas that may be unsafe to enter, and remind employees of safety protocols.

It’s essential to make these signs visible and understandable in all types of weather and refresh them when needed.

Waterproof Deck Coverings

Another way to minimize employee risk is to install waterproof deck coverings. These covers work well in residential and commercial environments and provide a durable, non-slip, easily maintained surface for high-traffic outdoor areas.

By implementing waterproof deck coverings on walkways and sidewalks, businesses can significantly contribute to the safety and well-being of their employees. These coverings create stable, weather-resistant surfaces, minimizing slip and trip hazards and ensuring employees a smooth and secure pathway throughout the workday.

woman wearing blazer carrying side bag

Ensuring Safety in Parking Lots and Garages

Parking lots and garages are usually the first and last contact points for many employees entering and exiting the workplace. This fact makes them a hotspot for potential safety risks.

Here are several measures recommended by safety experts to keep in mind:

Adequate Lighting and Surveillance

Proper lighting in parking garages and lots is essential for employee safety. It is crucial to ensure that all potential hiding spots are visible and anyone cannot easily sneak up on employees.

Installing security cameras covering all parking lot areas and garages can add a layer of safety and ensure that any suspicious activity is quickly detected.

Parking Lot Traffic Management

Traffic management is another critical aspect of parking lot safety. Proper signage, traffic flow, and designated pedestrian crossing areas could help prevent accidents and increase employee safety in parking lots.

Security Measures for Vehicles and Personal Belongings

Besides securing the parking lot, businesses must provide employees with adequate security measures for their vehicles and belongings.

Each parking space should have access to a secure locking mechanism, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access the area. Signage warning employees not to leave valuable items in their vehicles and providing secure storage facilities can also help avoid theft and property damage.

Creating Secure Outdoor Gathering Spaces

The pandemic has shown the importance of outdoor spaces for employee well-being. Many businesses have adapted by creating outdoor areas for their employees to gather, work, or take breaks.

Proper Seating and Comfort

Providing employees with proper seating and comfortable outdoor spaces is crucial for maintaining a safe and productive workspace.

Wooden benches or metal chairs may not be comfortable, and a lack of comfort can cause back problems, eventually affecting the employee’s well-being. Providing comfortable furniture ensures the employees are satisfied and may optimize productivity.

Fire Safety and Emergency Exits

Employers must check fire extinguishers, alarms, and emergency exits in outdoor gathering spaces. Maintaining fire safety equipment helps fight against unforeseen fire hazards and provides safety to employees in case of an emergency.

Weather Protection and Shelter

Protecting employees from unexpected weather changes helps add to their comfort and safety. Usually, setting up a permanent structure shelter is impossible in an outdoor space.

Temporary shades, umbrellas, or other similar installations can help provide shelter. It is essential to choose high-quality equipment and install it in a way that ensures stability and durability.

Exit Sign and Fire Extinguisher.

Employee safety is an essential aspect of any business, and it is vital to take safety measures beyond the walls of the workplace by ensuring walkways and sidewalks are safe and implementing adequate safety measures.

These measures can improve the safety of outdoor areas and reduce the risk of accidents while ensuring your employees are protected.

By adopting these measures, you can demonstrate your concern for protecting your employees while reducing potential injuries and avoiding the unpleasant legal and financial implications that can arise.

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