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Actively manage your car park to keep employees safe...

Actively manage your car park to keep employees safe and happy
Do you consider your car park a staff benefit, part of your Health and Safety and/or Corporate Social Responsibility? We think car parking is an all too often forgotten part of the workplace—yes, it is outside of the building and yes, using the car park is something that happens before and after work—but it can have a real impact on your business and we think it has an important part to play in creating the best possible workspace. Here’s why.

Under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and subsidiary legislation, car park owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that car parks are safe to use. This includes employers.

Specifically, parking areas should: be clearly signposted; not impede traffic routes; ensure pedestrians and vehicles are kept apart; allow drivers and pedestrians to see clearly; be firm, level and well drained; be well lit; and be as close as possible to where people need to go when they leave their vehicles.

But issues occur even when the above guidance is met. With staff entering and exiting the car park at the same times each day, they are more likely to be involved in collisions and scrapes when manoeuvring in the same limited space as their colleagues. Congestion is also likely to build around peak entry and exit times.

This is especially problematic when demand for a parking space outstrips capacity.

Insufficient parking can lead to much more hazardous situations. Employees could be tempted to park outside of the marked bays or on the curb. This can disrupt visibility making entering and exiting, and travel around the car park more of a challenge. Issues can also occur when larger vehicles such as bin lorries or delivery vehicles need to access the area. And what happens when your fire assembly point is blocked or used by parked cars?

This is both potentially hazardous and problematic for your company’s reputation. Visitors will have a negative first impression of your company if parking is chaotic and your reputation could be badly affected if your parking problem affects the wider community; with employees parking in nearby streets or congestion building around the entrance and exit to your car park.

Add to this the impact poor parking has on employee engagement, where employees could be driven to leave early to beat the rush or arrive in a negative frame of mind following 20 minutes spent circling the car park, and it becomes clear that poor parking can seriously affect your business.

So what can be done about poor parking?

Adding space to your car park may not always be possible, but improvements to the design and use of the facility can go a long way to resolving issues.

David Percy, a mathematics professor at the University of Salford, has established that building a car park with a diagonal layout rather than rectangular spaces can offer an efficiency saving on space and make manoeuvring safer as the car needs to change direction less sharply.

With a car park already in place the use of it can be improved with intelligent parking technology. This includes sensorand vehicle count technology to identify available spaces and Variable Message Signs to guide users to the available spaces. This is how we helped National Grid to increase employee engagement through a positive parking experience. Employees were directed to areas of the car park known to have spaces, saving them the time and risk of circling a fully occupied section. The system also helped National Grid to enhance their visitor experience by guiding visitorsdirectly to a reserved space.

Parking solutions such as these reduce the risk and congestion your employees face by reducing time spent circling the car park. This has the added bonus of happier, more productive employees. Employers also benefit from greater control and understanding how and when their facility is being used.
Get in touch to understand how your car park can be brought into the workspace, keeping your employees happy and safe.
Uploaded 02/02/2017