Does a Company Owe a Duty of Care To Its Staff In a Staff Car Park?
I was recently asked to provide some advice to someone with regards to the duty of care owed to staff in a staff car park, especially when it comes to the issue of self-defence.
Having checked with various legal sources I thought what I found out may be of benefit to you if you teach or advise on self-defence and/or personal safety.
The conversation was as follows:
I have a meeting later this evening with a store manager from [retail company name withheld] and I was wondering about how the Health and Safety at Work Act applies when a staff member leaves the shop and goes to the staff car at the end of a shift, or at a start of a shift for that matter.
If the car park is the property of the company, is the [company] responsible for their safety?”
“Hi [Name redacted]
Under Health & Safety Legislation all employers have statutory duties to provide a safe place of work, safe systems of work and general duties of care towards anyone who may be accessing or using their place of business.
As part of that statutory duty, employers are required to undertake a health and safety risk assessment/s to identify current potential hazards in the workplace and then the employer must then take action to minimise those risks.
With regards to car parks, employers have a duty of care to ensure that a safe and healthy environment is provided, in particular, owners/operators of car parks are required to confirm they have met their legal obligations and established a formal inspection and maintenance regime.
However, it can be a complicated issue as an employers car park is not classified as a employees place of work. It is merely an attractive benefit to an employee in order to ensure that their staff can get to work.
Employers who provide car parks do have a duty of care to ensure that a safe and healthy environment is provided, in particular, owners/operators of car parks are required to confirm they have met their legal obligations and established a formal inspection and maintenance regime with regards to minimising any risks to their employees and others who use the car park.
The Safer Parking Scheme
There is a scheme called the Safer Parking Scheme, which is a national standard for UK car parks that are able to demonstrate that they have measures in place to ensure the safety of people and vehicles and deter vehicle crime.
Car parks that successfully participate in the scheme are awarded Park Mark® certification.
The distinctive Park Mark® signage helps drivers find car parks where they can confidently leave their vehicle, knowing the environment is safer.
The mark is only awarded if a car park is properly managed and maintained. Over 5000 car parks throughout the UK hold the award.
The scheme is run by the British Parking Association (BPA) on behalf of Secured by Design, a crime prevention initiative supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Drivers can search for the nearest Park Mark® accredited car park on the website at www.parkmark.co.uk.
Car park operators can apply to join the scheme via the BPA website at www.britishparking.co.uk/Safer-Parking-Scheme-/-Park-Mark.
Park Mark Plus is an elite award achieved after a comprehensive assessment to demonstrate the highest quality of services, operations, design and build. To achieve the award, car parks must not only demonstrate low crime and measures in place to ensure the safety of people and vehicles, but also disabled accreditation, environmental standards and exemplary customer experience.
I hope that helps.”