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Improving parking lot safety in four steps

Business owners in New Jersey are responsible for the safety of all lawful entrants, including employees and clients. This responsibility extends to the parking lot. Owners should know that every year, there are more than 50,000 car accidents in parking lots (according to the National Safety Council). The first thing that owners should do, then, is focus on establishing clear traffic flow.

Parking lots, crosswalks and emergency vehicles lanes should all be clearly marked. Business owners should install the appropriate signs and have directional arrows painted. Clearly visible striping and paint can be used to identify two-way traffic. At the same time, employers should tell their employees to always be aware of their surroundings: drivers may back up a turn a blind corner and hit them.

A second safety tip is to ensure adequate lighting, especially by the entrance and over the area where the dumpster and recycling receptacle is. Lighting should be inspected regularly, clear of trees and other obstructions and replaced when it burns out. Plenty of lighting will deter criminal activity like theft and vandalism.

Two more steps should be taken. Employers should have any potholes filled in and cracks sealed since this will help prevent trips and falls. Then, they will want to get snow removal and de-icing services in inclement weather.

Employers cannot prevent all accidents, though they may not be to blame for them. In such cases, injured employees can still file for benefits under workers' compensation law. These benefits are paid out regardless of who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident. However, employers have a right to deny payment if they can prove that victims were negligent. For this reason, victims may want legal assistance. A lawyer might also explain the pros and cons of choosing a settlement.

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