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When the weather starts getting nice, unless you’re in a bad weather business (like snow removal or ski rentals), business can often be expected to pick up.
And when business picks up, businesses can face additional liability issues. So while you may know enough to contact your liability insurer if your exposure changes, you might want to be a bit more proactive about avoiding legal trouble.
Below you can read about some simple ways to help minimize summertime small business liability.
If you hire seasonal, or summer, employees, then you better be sure to thoroughly train them. Untrained employees can pose serious health and safety risks to customers, other employees, and even themselves. So it’s especially important that you don’t skip out on any trainings related to safety.
Schools out for summer, and if your business attracts teens, you better be ready to deal with teenage shenanigans. Posting clear rules that apply to unaccompanied minors at your business can be helpful, but be ready to enforce those rules fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner.
When it gets hot hot, even the simplest jobs can be a health hazards. So if your HVAC hasn’t been recently inspected or received routine maintenance, doing so can help prevent a heat-wave-related shutdown, or, worse, employee injuries.
If you business has an outdoor area, or requires workers to be out in the sun, it’s important to provide time and opportunity for workers to cool off and hydrate. Overheating can lead to employees getting hurt, which can lead to workers’ comp claims. Employers should make the appropriate gear available to employees, such as hats, water bottles, sunscreen, and pop-up shade tents.
For those businesses that do have seasonal outdoor areas, like patios, making sure these are ADA accessible is very important. The ADA requires businesses to make sure there is full and equal access, with limited exceptions, to all areas of a business.
If you're concerned about the increased liabiity your business may face over the summer, consider contacting an experienced business attorney to help you.
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