Potential Health & Safety Issues in Outdoor Areas of a Business

Health & Safety doesn’t just apply to offices and warehouses – safety is also a concern outside a business. From the moment an employee, client, or member of the public sets foot on your property, you are responsible for keeping them safe. Accidents do happen, of course, but ignorance is not a defense. As an employer, you have a responsibility to adhere to all existing health & safety legislation. Otherwise, you could end up being the subject of a lawsuit. Read on to learn more about potential problems areas – and what you should do to keep them free of hazards.

Poor Lighting

Lighting plays a major role in health and safety and poor lighting can easily lead to accidents, both for employees and clients/customers.

Carry out a lighting assessment on your premises. Is there enough lighting along walkways? Is there enough lighting in car parking areas? Are emergency exit doors well lit? Look for lighting black spots at night. Not only are these dangerous if the ground is uneven, but it’s also a security risk since shadowy areas are a great place for intruders to hide.

Unstable Pathways

Skip and fall accidents account for 37% of all workplace injuries, and 17,000 people a year die in the US because of such incidents. This costs the US economy around $14 million a year.

Unstable pathways are a common cause of trip and fall incidents outside. Paths become uneven for all kinds of reasons, ranging from poor construction in the first place, inadequate maintenance, tree roots causing upheaval, and damage from heavy vehicles.

It’s very important to maintain pathways around your business premises. In the first instance, choose the right surface so your pathways can withstand erosion and heavy traffic. If your pathways are constructed from a stabilized pathway mix, check out this guide to stabilized pathway maintenance.

Moving Vehicle Hazards

Whether you have a car parking area or a loading bay, moving vehicles represent a significant health and safety hazard for pedestrians. Poor lighting makes this problem much worse, but there are other steps you can take to keep pedestrians safe when vehicles are entering and leaving your business premises.

Enforce a speed limit or around 5MPH. Speeding vehicles are much more likely to cause serious injuries. One way to ensure vehicles don’t drive too quickly is by installing speed bumps and traffic management bollards.

Use road markings to identity safe routes for pedestrians. These should be painted and signposted so it’s clear which way pedestrians are supposed to go. Use clear signage to direct pedestrians from car parks to buildings, and vice versa.


Fences can be used to keep unauthorized people out of restricted and hazardous areas. Choose the right type of fencing and make sure it is secure and difficult to climb.

If your business premises is adjacent to a body of water or steep drop, always use fencing to keep people of all ages safe.

These are just some of the health and safety hazards you need to be aware of. If in doubt, ask a professional to carry out a risk assessment.