Owning your own business can be a dream come true as long as you protect your investments and use common sense. Imagine just how terribly your small business might be affected by a simple slip and fall accident. So how exactly do you protect yourself from these types of claims, and can you eliminate the problem in its entirety? After all, slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone at any time, but by not taking action you are simply asking for a lawsuit. Read through this article to get up to speed on how you can protect your small business.
Insurance for a small business is essential if you intend on operating your business for more than a couple of years. One of the best plans to get for most small businesses is a comprehensive general liability insurance policy. This policy will provide you with a defense attorney for your legal matters as well as a potential damages fund, which the insurance company will utilize in order to pay settled cases or damages. A sound insurance plan is essential for any business; make sure to consult your insurance agent to find the best coverage for your business.
2. Workers Compensation Coverage
Providing workers compensation can stave off potential lawsuits while simultaneously helping your workers get back to their job. A solid workers compensation policy is recommended no matter what industry you are involved in.
3. Safety Review
A responsible company does not leave anything to chance and neither should you. Daily safety reviews allow you to confront any potential problems before they occur. If a room in your building does not appear safe, you can simply put up the appropriate signage and close the area off.
4. Maintain your Building
While a Safety review will allow you to prevent accidents from occurring, maintaining your building allows you to prevent areas of your work place from being closed. Daily building maintenance will allow you to achieve the highest level of output possible. Building maintenance may seem obvious to most, but it is surprisingly one of the most overlooked accident prevention tools.
5. Train your Employees
Employee safety is something that every company needs to be concerned about. Especially considering that properly training your employees is cheaper than any lawsuit. Make sure you require your employees to sign off that they attended safety seminars and that they were given adequate training on how to use the equipment of their trade. Consider putting a copy of these rules in as many areas of your business as possible so that employees can always double check before proceeding with dangerous work.
6. Document your Work
Maintaining your building, reviewing the building safety, and training your employees is all well and good, but without proper documentation it will be difficult to prove in court that you actually did these things. Should an accident occur and you find yourself a victim of a law suit you will have to prove you did everything humanly possible to mitigate the risks. So create a process in which you can document your actions as well as making your employees sign off on any safety training. This will give you peace of mind in case of legal issues.
Running a small business is an incredibly rewarding endeavor as well as a challenging one. With the right business plan, proper precautions, and a strong work ethic anything is possible. With this reward comes incredible risk that will require you to think and act before problems happen. The safety of your workforce is imperative to a proper business strategy as you will keep your skilled workers healthy and productive as well as prevent expensive lawsuits. These two reasons alone should be enough for any business owner to take worker safety seriously.
Eduardo Dieguez is a graduate student at Florida State University School of Law, studying personal injury law and sharing what he is learning in his pare time to help cover medical expenses. A native of Orlando, he’d like to give a special thanks to David Heil, PA for helping him out with his own legal troubles and inspiring his career choice.