Parking Lot Safety Tips For Janitorial Employees
Janitorial employees are often faced with personal safety concerns when working at night, especially if they move from building to building. Female employees in particular have a valid concern.
Most accounts usually require building employees and janitorial workers to park at the back of the parking lot, which means they have a long walk from the door to their car. In addition, if they are required to move trash from the building to a dumpster, there is addional risk. Unsavory characters can hide behind cars, light poles, dumpster fencing, and even inside the confined dumpster area.
The first thing you can do as an employer is to talk with the building owner or property manager to make sure they are doing all they can to ensure a safe work place. Discuss the following:
- All outside areas should have lighting in good working order. This includes parking lot lights, dumpster area lights, and all entry way lights. If any lights are burned out be sure to get a timeline on when they will be replaced.
- Check for blind spots at the entry ways such as trees, shrubs, etc. If you see landscaping that is overgrown, request the building owner or property manager have them trimmed down.
- Request that night-time employees be allowed to park close to the main entry (or designated entry).
Following are tips for training your employees on safety precautions to take when doing janitorial work.
- Do not get out of your vehicle until you have surveyed the area.
- If you think someone is watching you or stalking you, talk to your employer about changing your schedule so you do not report to the same building at the same time every night. Another option would be to work with another employee so you are never alone when walking to and from the building.
- Do the trashing first so you can get it out to the dumpsters as soon as possible - daylight hours if possible. In the winter that's not always possible since it gets dark so early but in many buildings people work late so you want to try and get it out when there are other people working. If you have more than one person working at a building, both should take the trash out for extra security.
- When leaving the building survey the parking lot.
- Always try to walk with a friend, co-worker, supervisor, or a security officer if the building has obne. Give your escort a ride back to the building so they do not have to walk back alone.
- Do not wear headphones or be distracted by a cell phone conversation.
- Have your car keys in your hand before you leave the building so you don't fumble around looking for them when you get to your car.
- Buy a lighted key chain so it's easy to see they key hole when unlocking your car door.
- Carry a whistle or personal alarm and be ready to use it if necessary.
- Look in your car windows before entering to make sure no one is hiding in your car.
- If you see a suspicious person or vehicle, watch them and write down the license number, make of vehicle and what they look like. Then call the police and ask them to do a drive by. When they come by, go to your vehicle.
- Trust your instincts if you feel something just isn't right. If you are suspicious, walk away. Go to a safe place and call for help.