Workplace Safety Tips: Preventing Accidents and Insuring Your Company
Dan Levenson February 23, 2016
Sometimes accidents are impossible to avoid. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t precautions that you, as a business owner, can take to ensure the safety of your employees.
When thinking about workplace safety, there are a number of things you can do to prevent accidents at your business. It is also important to make sure you have adequate insurance in case an injury happens in spite of everything you do to prevent accidents.
Preventing Accidents In The First Place
Here are nine things you can do to prevent your employees or clients who are on-site from getting injured:
- Post highly visible signs or rules that employees and clients should follow to prevent accidents for easy reading. For businesses with warehouses, for example, there should be a rule to walk on the right side of a pathway to allow room for forklifts, and for forklift drivers to check their mirrors and honk before backing up.
- Remind your employees constantly to wear required uniforms, if any, as well as any required protective garments. Make certain they wear hard hats in required areas, and that they understand the chances of injury by not wearing them.
- Organize emergency drills so your employees will know what to do if there is an emergency.
- Make certain your supervisors know any potential dangers—both as far as risks arising from everyday tasks, as well as the dangers that might occasionally arise from duties that are not typical. That way, they can help train others, as well as be better prepared themselves.
- Make certain that those in charge will never put others in charge of duties they are not adequately trained for. Can you imagine how unsafe your city would be if an untrained person acted as a policeman or fireman?
- Make certain your employees know the reason for each requirement in your safety program. They need to know what risks there are if they disobey the rules as far as injuries go and if you will implement any penalties for ignoring policies.
- Be personally aware of anything you see that needs to be changed in order to make your business safer, and encourage supervisors and workers to do the same.
- Make certain there is an emergency team at your worksite to monitor safety.
- Make sure everyone knows that although you are concerned about profit, safety is a high priority as well.
Obtaining Coverage, Just In Case
In case an accident does happen despite the best efforts of everyone in your company to prevent it, there are some types of insurance you should have. Here is how they can protect you:
- Business liability insurance. Your company cannot do without this. Accidents will happen occasionally no matter what you do to prevent them.
This policy will pay for medical expenses, damages you are legally responsible for, and attorney fees. It can even protect you against something that may happen you have not even thought of—for example, a professional liability lawsuit, in case of damage to a business from bad advice, a poor recommendation, or using your product.
The business liability coverage can also protect you if someone slips and falls on your premises. Such things can happen because of torn carpeting, poor lighting, a wet floor, narrow stairs, ice, or a pothole in the parking lot.
- Non-hired and hired auto insurance can protect you when employees use their personal vehicles for business or when you use short-term auto rentals.
- Fire legal liability insurance will protect you from fire damage to any premises you occupy or rent if you have been negligent in causing the fire.
- Product and completed operations liability insurance will protect you if there has been bodily injury or property damage off-premises caused by your work or products. The level of risk and amount of coverage depends on your business type.
- Umbrella policies will protect you if you need coverage more than your other liability coverage. This will protect you against unusually high losses, if you have used all your other coverage.
Of course, if you work in a niche industry, there may be other types of insurance that are specific to your line of work and will need to be considered as well. But with these basic policies related to the physical space your business occupies, combined with smart safety procedures and rules, you can run your business knowing that all of your bases are covered when it comes to accidents.