Businesses are, by nature, at a high risk for liability claims in multiple areas. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect the interests of your business, your employees and your customers. To avoid potential economic disaster, you should also do whatever you can to lower the risk of business liability claims, so here are a few ways in which you can get the ball rolling. Remember that this process is not a “one-shot” deal; you will have to continually monitor and improve your efforts to lower the risk of business liability claims.
Develop Effective Quality Control Procedures and Standards
If you didn’t do so at the inception of your business, work toward developing effective quality control procedures. This should start with a written document, similar to a business plan, in which you list the policies and standards you hope to implement regarding quality control. As a business owner, you can lower the risk of liability claims by demonstrating a good-faith effort to establish quality control. You should also consult with a business consultant on the best ways in which to implement these policies and procedures.
Thoroughly Screen Potential Employees
Lowering the risk of business liability also means taking special care in the hiring process. Develop a system for conducting background and credit checks on all potential employees, as well as calling references and conducting thorough interviews. You are, in many respects, responsible for the activities or inactivities of your employees, so make sure you are hiring people who are capable of upholding the standards of your business. Further, you should have policies for retraining or disciplining employees who pose a security risk.
Update Your Records Regularly
You’ve heard it before: Keep everything in your files for at least seven years. This is especially true when it comes to business liability claims. If you have the paperwork to back up your statements and efforts, you’ll always be in the clear. However, if you routinely discard pertinent information, you could be opening yourself up to potential problems. Make sure that your administrative staff is educated on the proper maintenance of records and files and that you inspect the record-keeping practices of your employees on a regular basis.
Continually Improve Safety Programs
Technology and electronics change on a daily basis, as do the equipment that businesses use. Continually update and improve your safety programs to maintain the well-being of employees and customers. When you bring in a new piece of equipment, your first priority should be to develop a safety program that will keep anyone who uses it from injuring himself or others. Implementing and using your safety programs will exponentially lower the risk of business liability claims.
Adequately Train and Retrain All Employees
Your training programs are just as important as your safety programs when it comes to lowering business liability. Make sure that you have trained every employee for the positions he or she will be filling and that you’ve addressed any questions or concerns. Training programs should be continually updated and improved to reflect the growing needs of your business and your employees should go through a retraining process when mistakes are made. If any concerns are posed by your employees concerning other members of your staff, address them immediately.