Whatever size of business you’re operating, personal injury claims can happen, and they have serious consequences on not only your reputation but also your cash flow as well.
As a small business, where every penny really does count towards the future of the operation, one large claim can cripple long-term financial stability – even the literal existence of your business in the future.
In one sense, there’s nothing you can do to completely remove the chance of accidents happening, or personal injury occurring – the saying ‘accidents will happen’ exists for a reason.
However, measures to ensure safety and reasonable steps to cover your business could be the difference between weathering a stormy moment, and a claim spelling the end of your business.
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Investing in Your Employees
Firstly, the practical steps to equipping your employees, should you have any, for remediating personal injury risks begins with teaching.
Learning correct practice, and best practice with machinery or complex processes is fundamental and often regulated.
However, induction courses and regular check-ups are equally important.
Even simply producing handbooks and guidance materials is a great way to impress the key learnings on the team.
You’re looking for consistency in understanding across your workforce so that everyone has the knowledge to act accordingly while at work.
The second aspect of this falls upon the business owner rather than workers.
Investing adequately inappropriate tools and equipment is regulated up to a point.
However, being up to code and going above and beyond to give your employees the tools they need to do a job safely can diverge in some ways.
Take it seriously and seek out opportunities to make your workforce safer.
Know Your Premises
As we’ve said, negating all risks is next to impossible.
If you’re working in construction or engineering, it’s never going to be completely safe all of the time, unfortunately.
Therefore, invest time and energy into knowing the layout and state of your working premises.
Unlike conglomerate companies, a small business should be able to comfortably afford to inspect the majority of their premises to take note and flag any potential risks to workers.
You can hold onto reports and act on recommendations in good time, therefore lessening the chance of an accident happening, and demonstrating your proactivity in safeguarding your work environment in the instance of a claim. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to overlook.
Understanding the Legalities
Familiarising yourself with the many types of injury claims, and the process of how to make a personal injury claim, is a good place to start.
From there, you’ll be able to look into earmarking funds for insurance policies that could be helpful.
For example, public and employer liability insurance is highly important and needs to be given adequate attention by the business owner. Public liability insurance is not obligatory, surprisingly.
However, not having it can carry huge risks if a member of the public comes to harm on business premises, customer businesses, homes, or office areas.
On the employer liability side, you’ll find that claims can be made by ex-employees as well as current.
That means that you experience a negative impact if you don’t have that coverage and an ex-employee makes a claim over a longer-term injury like a strain or respiratory illness.
It’s absolutely key that, rather than either ignoring these issues or overreacting to the risks, you consider carefully the risk exposure to your business of each scenario occurring – and act accordingly.
After all, the law is not out to get small businesses or any business; it’s there to protect people.
Your due diligence is to ensure you’re protecting your business interests in the same way by understanding the landscape.