Do you know what the largest claim type is for Society Insurance? If you guessed slips, trips and falls you’d be correct. In terms of frequency and overall claim cost to Society Insurance policyholders, slip, trip and fall claims account for approximately 44% of overall claims. That being said, there are a number of steps both employees and employers can take to mitigate the risks of parking lot accidents. Obviously, during the winter months it’s not uncommon for there to be snow and ice in parking lots, but there are many other factors contributing to slips and falls in parking lots—all of which business owners should plan for.

Identify Parking Lot Hazards

Identifying hazards and conducting an audit of your parking lot should be high priority. Having the recommended controls in place will not only keep your customers and employees safe, but also protect your business from litigation.

Examples of Outdoor Hazards:

Uneven Walkways & Broken Pavement
All potholes should have a marker until repaired
Broken tire stop

What Factors Contribute to Fall Incidents in a Parking Lot?

  • Uneven parking lot surfaces (including potholes)
  • Damaged manhole covers, drain grates, tire stops, etc.
  • Leaks and spills of engine oil or antifreeze
  • Downspouts draining into parking lots
  • Speed bumps
  • Poor weather conditions

Customers can step into potholes when entering or exiting their vehicle, slip on engine oil, slip on ice, trip on speed bumps, or simply lose their footing on uneven surfaces of a parking lot. All of these factors contribute to parking lot accidents.

How to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents

  • Repair potholes and uneven surfaces as soon as possible
  • Use parking lot pothole markers
  • Ensure tire stops, steps, ramps and speed bumps are marked with a contrasting color
  • Downspouts should be routed to discharge water away from the building
  • Only use slip-resistant outdoor paint
  • Only install speed bumps when absolutely necessary
  • Speed bumps should follow American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines
  • Locate speed bumps away from pedestrian traffic
  • Provide good outdoor lighting
  • Ensure parking lot is free of trash and debris
  • Place garbage cans in safe strategic locations
  • Remove debris from clogged drain grates
  • Install texture to any wooden steps
  • Ensure good handrails are available leading up steps
  • Sand or salt in advance of icy conditions
  • Clear snow from walkways and monitor for ice refreezing
  • Have snow/ice procedures written down and communicated to employees

Next Steps for Preventing Parking Lot Accidents

Business owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect customers from known hazards and to inspect their property regularly to find and remediate hazards. Safeguard your livelihood by investing a little time into a well-prepared outdoor safety plan. And remember, Society is here to lend a hand. Our experienced risk control team can assist you in your risk prevention efforts.

Watch Webinar on Reducing Outdoor Slip, Trip, and Falls

Additionally, consider this 5- Step Program for reducing the number of falls and establishing defenses if a claim is presented.

To learn more about the big difference Society can make for your business, contact your local independent agent.