Personal injury claims can cost a business a lot of money and even its reputation if it is serious enough. As such, whether you are selling a service, a product or consumables it is important to take all necessary measures to protect your business against personal injury claims. Here are a few steps that you can take to do this.
If you have a business premises then you can safeguard your customers and staff by taking health and safety measures.Begin by identifying any areas where injury is likely to occur. Are there any hallways or steps that could be dangerous when it is raining? If so, when it rains, put out cones or signs to warn people who are entering the building of the potential hazard.
When it comes to cleaning or building maintenance, where possible arrange for it to be done outside working hours. Freshly mopped floors, rogue ladders and fumes and dust caused by building work can all cause injury. If cleaning or building work must take place while staff or customers are present then ensure that all steps are taken to avoid injury. Cordon off areas being worked on and use signs if floors are wet. Well thought out health and safety procedures can prevent trips or falls.
Keep any areas used by employees or customers clean and clutter free. Ensure walkways are kept clear and if items like boxes must be piled up, ensure that they are done so in a neat and organised manner or better still kept in a stock room.
Keep all relevant certificates on display including licenses and work based training awards. This reassures customers and in some situation maybe a legal requirement. If you have vehicles ensure they are regularly maintained and check the oil, tires and water at least once a week to ensure they are in good working order.
Make sure both you and your employees are properly trained when it comes to any work they carry out as part of their job. If they are not trained, get someone who is to do the job. D.I.Y repairs and allowing staff to perform tasks they aren’t qualified to do could leave you liable. Always ensure that all your companies’ certificates and training are up to date.
Whilst on the job training is important so too is health and safety training. Ensure both you and all your employees are familiar with workplace safety procedures and know how to report any problems or resolve potential hazards. Regular staff meetings are a good idea as they will allow your staff to flag up any issues and things that can be improved.
What if an accident occurs?
Sometimes, even with cast iron safety measures in place, accidents occur. If someone is injured and requires medical attention, ring 911 so that they can properly be attended to.
It is also a good idea to have an accident book so that any incidents can be recorded. Obtain statements from all of those who are involved, and keep a log of names, phone numbers and addresses of witnesses. These might need to be referred to at a later date.
Ensure you have proper business liability insurance. This will cover you in the event of a claim for personal injury, bodily injury, including libel or slander, advertising injury and property damage. The best way form of defense is prevention so if in doubt consult a professional to advise you on the latest health and safety laws and requirements for the workplace. Legislation changes all the time and if you are not up to date and your business causes someone injury as a result of it, you could end up in court. Be safe and get clued up. Prevention is better than court.