Minimize Business Risks and Losses Checklist
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
Running a business is inherently a big risk. Think about it. Many factors are out of your control. Natural disasters, accidents and employee theft are just a few factors to consider when thinking about business liability. These issues can lead to lost revenue, lawsuits, and other legal entanglements.
For instance, workplace injuries can result in medical treatment costs and lost productivity. Your employees suffer and so can your business. There are safeguards, however. Train your employees on workplace safety and be sure to have a safety plan, especially if your business requires the use of heavy machinery or inherently dangerous tools or chemicals. Make sure each employee has access to safety equipment and never attempt to cut costs at the risk of injury to another person.
Despite all your best efforts, things happen. That's why business insurance was created: to help keep you covered in case an emergency arises.
Review Your Policy
Keep in mind, as your business changes and grows, so does your potential for risk. Maybe you've gone from an online business to a brick and mortar, or you've added several employee drivers to your fleet to help expand your delivery service. Whatever the case may be, always review any small business insurance policies to help guarantee that you have adequate coverage. You will also want your attorney to review your policy needs.
Purchasing Business Insurance
Purchasing business insurance is only one part of minimizing business losses. An effective risk management and loss prevention program will in most instances lower your insurance premiums and diminish the probability of filing claims, replacing damaged property, and defending yourself in a lawsuit. Do you do the following?
- Keep your wiring, carpets, stairs, floors, elevators, and escalators in good repair.
- Have a system in place to remove slipping hazards from the floors and stairs.
- Install fire and burglar alarms.
- Isolate flammable materials and products.
- Install high quality locks.
- Keep valuables in a safe.
- Install and maintain lighting that discourages theft.
- Use a security service.
- Let only employees with good driving records drive for you.
- Provide drivers' training.
- Provide ongoing training to minimize injuries from operating machinery.
- Prohibit employees from disabling safety devises on machinery.
- Provide employees with protective gear.
- Teach employees how to lift properly.
- Have, and use, a self-inspection checklist from OSHA to help you identify and minimize employee risk from particular hazards.
- Make sure that your employees' work stations are ergonomically appropriate and that they follow guidelines to avoid injury.
- Keep minimal amounts of cash in your office and in cash registers.
- Keep adequate and updated records of your inventory, accounts receivable and equipment purchases.
Hire a Skilled Lawyer
There are many different types of insurance policies out there for small businesses. If you have questions about what is right for your business, speak to a qualified business and commercial law attorney today. An attorney can help you decide what your risk-exposure is and how to best protect your business.
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