Preventative Action: How Business Owners Can Prevent On-Property Accidents
When you own your own business, it can sometimes seem like you’re living the dream.
You’ve made it, and you’re making a profit. You’re changing lives and making the world better in the process. It’s the best of all worlds and you couldn’t be happier.
Other times, this reality is far from the truth. There are several aspects of owning a business that can drive you up the wall, and several components of business management that, if not continually checked, can culminate to ruin you and your progress in the business world.
One of these aspects of running a business is to ensure that you’re providing the safest business space possible for your customers, vendors, and employees.
If you own a business that invites the public in to shop or browse your services in a physical location, there are several things you can do to ensure that you’re operating your space at the safest levels possible.
Why Does it Matter?
Accidents happen. This is a fact.
You might’ve, at one point or another, heard of the term known as “Murphy’s Law.” This is a theoretical philosophy that basically means “what can go wrong, will go wrong.” Other interpretations prefer the less negative connotation of, “what can happen, will happen.” But, you get the gist.
Some people have also referred to Murphy’s Law as the rule of things going wrong when proper precautions aren’t taken, and this is true to a degree.
Regardless, Murphy may very well be living in your business establishment, and you really don’t want old man Murphy hanging around.
Whether you have a clothing store, grocery store, or you sell T-shirts, if someone has an accident in your store, you will be held responsible if you’re found to be negligent in fixing the problem which caused the accident.
In fact, many people who have had a slip-and-fall in a business establishment consider taking legal action against the proprietor of the business. And, many of these plaintiffs win their cases.
What Can I Do About It?
It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this old adage is full of timeless wisdom.
Correcting any problems you notice in your establishment is the first step in keeping yourself in good graces in case a lawsuit is filed against you. In fact, as each business has financial obligations to meet, you can consider spending money to mitigate any hazards in your business establishment by practicing sound financial due diligence.
Start by going through your business space and taking note of what might be considered a hazard. You can start by answering the following questions:
- Do I have enough wet floor signs?
- Are there any water leaks that need to be fixed?
- Are there any broken tiles on the floor that need repair?
- Are the thresholds and walkways safe for heavy traffic?
- Are any overhanging signs improperly secured?
- Is my merchandise stocked in a safe manner?
- Is there a risk of anything falling?
This is just a shortlist of questions you can ask yourself as you survey your business space. Depending on what type of business you run, you may want to omit a few of these or add a few of your own.
The bottom line is to go through your property with a fine-toothed comb and take note of any problem areas that need repair and make the repairs as quickly as possible.
We’re all human, and sometimes we don’t always catch underlying problems right away. In the event that you’d feel more comfortable with more eyes to check for possible hazards, hire a safety inspector to thoroughly check your business space for possible issues.
Safety inspectors document their inspections, so you’ll also have the additional documentation to use as proof that you were trying to correct the problem if someone has an accident in your store before you’re able to fix it.
On that note, documentation is also a key preventative action. Personal injury lawsuits often rely on the fact that you, the business owner, were aware of the problem and were negligent in fixing it.
In the event of a lawsuit, if you can prove that you were aware of the problem and were in the process of fixing it, you’ll most likely have a better day in court At the end of the day, taking the proper preventative measures, and documenting these preventative measures is the only thing that will ensure that your business meets adequate safety standards.