When it comes to workplace safety, especially in big cities, have you thought about the company parking lot or garage? Your co-workers use it at least twice a day to stow and shelter their vehicles, but beyond that it’s fairly invisible. A closer look reveals that predators might easily be lurking there.
To minimize this threat, experts recommend ensuring that workers (as well as visitors) take these precautions:
- Stay alert for cruising vehicles, whose drivers can stop suddenly and jump out to rob or assault you.
- If you’re using a parking lot, park near the building in a visible, lighted area.
- In a parking garage, park near the parking attendant (if there is one) or near a well-lit exit. Women should avoid using stairs and elevators, if possible.
- Use the main exit/entrance rather than a side or secluded one.
- Lock any valuables (including GPS, shopping, other bags, etc.) out of sight. If you’re walking to your vehicle after hours, ask a co-worker or security officer to accompany you.
- If you have to walk alone, ask someone to watch from inside, if possible. Turn around frequently to make sure you’re not being followed and pretend that you’re waving to someone ahead to give the impression you’re not alone.
- Don’t talk on your cellphone or listen to music with ear pods — predators are looking for victims who seem distracted or unaware.
- Have your car keys and personal alarm or whistle ready as you approach your vehicle.
- If someone nearby looks suspicious, keep walking and get to a safe place where you can call for help.
- Before you unlock the door, take a good look around, inside, and behind the vehicle.
- Once you enter the vehicle, lock all doors promptly and keep your windows up until you’ve exited the lot or garage.