As a business owner, one of your responsibilities is to help keep your community, customers, and employees safe. Although you may have a thriving business, all it takes is one big lawsuit to ruin your finances. Practicing preventative measures is much more effective for protecting your company’s assets than dealing with an accident after it happens. Now is a great time to make sure that your business is following these best practices for avoiding future liability claims against your company.
Take Action to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents account for a significant amount of lawsuits. Customers sometimes slip and fall on surfaces outside during inclement weather, and it is possible that a poorly designed interior layout could cause both employees and visitors to get hurt. Preventing slip-and-fall accidents is often as simple as making sure that the area is well-lit and the walking paths are clear. Posting clear signage regarding wet and other hazardous areas further protects your company from being liable for someone getting hurt.
Update the Building
Often, accidents are caused by an aging building in need of repairs. Cracked flooring, weak supports, old wiring, and faulty plumbing can all lead to injuries as well as damaged merchandise and equipment. If the plumbing, electrical, or other systems in your commercial building are dated, you may want to think about updating them. While this may seem like a big investment right now, it could help you save more money in insurance premiums and liability lawsuits down the road. By taking the time to ensure your business is in good condition, you can prevent future financial liability.
Your company’s team is critical for keeping the work environment safe. Employees who are under the influence of drugs are more likely to make mistakes that lead to accidents. Implementing a drug screening policy helps to ensure that all employees are more likely to show up to work sober. If someone does get hurt, then you’ll also have a policy in place to make sure that they weren’t intoxicated at the time of the accident, which could otherwise lead to further problems.
Additionally, before you hire potential employees, make sure to check their backgrounds. If a candidate has a criminal conviction that could put your business at risk, you may not want to hire that person. For instance, if a candidate was convicted of theft and you own a clothing store, that individual might not be the right person for the job.
Install a Security System
Installing a security system inside your business can deter intruders and criminals from burglarizing or vandalizing your building. Certain criminals can even use an unsecured building to steal data and company information that could cause a lot of damage for you. In addition to saving you money on lost merchandise, information, and revenue, if your insurance company finds out that you are taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk of theft and damage, they may decide to lower your monthly premiums.
Implement a Building Maintenance Routine
Buildings change over time, and many accidents occur when someone does not respond to the changes accordingly. For instance, clearing sidewalks of snow and ice is important for fall prevention. You’ll also want to make sure that any hanging fixtures, shelves, and other potential falling objects are secure. Keeping the building maintained prevents both employees and customers from being hurt in an accident that the court could judge as negligence on your company’s part.
Make Safety a Priority
If you want to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible and reduce your liabilities, you should make an effort to make the workplace as safe as possible. That means adequately training your employees how to do their jobs, maintaining equipment and regularly inspecting work areas for hazards. It is also beneficial to talk to your employees about the importance of safety in the workplace and ask for suggestions on how to improve safety.
Provide Frequent Employee Trainings and Reviews
Every employee should be well-trained on how to maintain safety within their work environment. Keeping records of regular safety training also demonstrates your company’s commitment to preventing accidents in the workplace. Depending upon your industry, you may also need to appoint someone to inspect the building and observe your employees to make sure that everyone follows the essential safety protocols.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
If you are looking for more ways to lower your liabilities, do not hesitate to talk to your insurance agent about your concerns. They can review your current policies and suggest areas where you can improve your practices to reduce your costs and liabilities. Your agent may also make you aware of discounts your business qualifies for.
No matter what kind of business you run, it is imperative to carry at least general liability insurance. It can protect your company from financial losses and give you peace of mind. However, the costs of insurance your company can definitely add up after a while. If you feel like you are paying too much to insure your business, talk to your insurance agent.
Your company building and staff are the frontline safeguards against serious accidents. Once you’ve established effective accident prevent strategies, make sure to double check to see that they are being implemented throughout the year. Being able to add new strategies or revise a current one helps your company to respond to changes in the environment and community that pose safety risks as they arise.