Every business wants to serve its customers with the utmost professionalism and safety. However, accidents can happen. If one of your customers or visitors get hurt on the premises, then you will likely be responsible in some way. It’s easy to see why commercial safety is so important. That’s why you should never neglect it.
Most business owners take comprehensive steps to keep personal safety risks under control. This requires an understanding of the risks present on the property, instituting targeted safety practices, and carrying general liability insurance. The right combination of these practices will help you create a safer business. Start making your business a safer place to visit right now.
Look Around Your Business for Hazards
Every industry, from coffee shops to hardware stores, presents risks to customers. No matter how hard you try to keep risks low, random threats might arise. Therefore, you need to know where they exist in your business. Common injury hazards might include:
- Slip-and-fall risks, both inside and outside the business
- Violent crime, assault or theft injuries
- Food-borne illness development
- Injuries from falling or improperly placed objects
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Machinery injury risks
These hazards might happen in any part of the business, from the bathroom to the service counter. Know the injury risks common to your business. Then, do what you can to place safety guards on this risk. The right safety guards include insurance and proper safety practices.
Getting General Liability Insurance
Let’s say you run a small business—a clothing store for example—and serve dozens of customers every day. One day, your customer trips and falls. That person breaks their leg.
Think about the impact that this injury could have on the harmed person. They might face expensive medical bills or the costs of rehabilitation. Or, they might have to miss work to recover from their injuries. This means that they could lose out on making their own money in order to sustain their own livelihood. None of these scenarios bode well for the affected customer.
The store might have an obligation towards the affected customer. The customer might hold the business responsible for not keeping its floor clean, and decide to sue for medical costs and lost wages. This could lead to a lawsuit that no business really wants to face. Situations like these are where general liability insurance can come in handy.
General liability coverage is an important part of any business’ insurance profile. In loose terms, liability insurance helps businesses in case they make mistakes. Should those mistakes cause harm to third parties, those affected could expect compensation. In the example of personal injuries, the costs might even be extremely high. No business wants to have to suffer financially because of an innocent mistake.
Business liabilities come in many shapes and sizes. They might include:
- Personal injury risks
- Property damage you might cause to others
- Advertising injuries like slander and libel
- Cyber liability risks such as exposing private customer data
- Professional liabilities like false or misleading professional advice
With the right liability insurance, you can get protection in case these problems ever happen in your business. Setting up the right coverage takes time and attention. Often, a strong commercial general liability (CGL) policy is a good place to start. It usually includes many types of coverage from which you can benefit.
However, your particular industry risks might mandate augmenting your coverage. For example, you might need extended limits or specialty types of liability protection. Therefore, work with your agent to determine what types of coverage you need.
Reducing Liability Risks in Your Business
Your liability insurance is only as good as you make it. Intentionally neglecting your business’ safety or professional practices likely won’t make for a successful claim. Therefore, it’s important for you to do your best to reduce liability risks in your business. This will often involve multiple steps:
- Research common hazards you might face in your business. Often, industry specialists provide information on how to make your business safer. You can use a risk management specialist to specifically inspect your business.
- Frequently walk through your business to inspect it for developing hazards.
- Create warning signs for particularly high-risk areas. For example, if you know a leak in the establishment poses a fall risk, place wet floor signs around the area. Have the leak repaired immediately.
- Do not allow customers to use any machinery present in your business that might pose injury risks.
- Keep the interior of the business in good condition. Fix broken flooring, furniture and appliances. Receive comprehensive maintenance and service as needed.
The more care you take of your business, the lesser the chances it will cause problems for your patrons. At the end of the day, good customer service should be your mantra. It’s always best that you don’t purposefully let something happen to them. However, if you ever have an emergency, general liability insurance can step in to help. For more information on general liability or how best to insure your business contact Action Insurance Agency at 816.282.0224.