It is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain their place of work so that it is safe for everyone from clients to employees. If you do not do this, you could face a personal injury claim or even a workers’ compensation claim. Protect yourself and your business with these five tips from a workers’ compensation lawyer at Cohen and Cohen:
It is important to keep up with any and all types of maintenance, even for things that are not necessarily broken. For example, if your company uses heavy machinery, it is important to conduct regular maintenance to ensure the machinery runs as expected. However, you should not just focus on things like heavy machinery. You should also keep up with annual inspections such as those conducted on air conditioning units. If you do not maintain your unit and it fails or causes a growth of mold due to poor circulation, your workers could file a claim.
If you conduct regularly scheduled walkthroughs for your place of business, you might catch something before it breaks and causes a huge problem. For example, if you walk around and notice the floor is starting to feel uneven, you should immediately bring in a contractor to examine the problem. You do not want the floor falling right out from underneath someone. You can also hire services that conduct these walkthroughs, which can be helpful to have a third-party objective person point out potential flaws.
The moment someone mentions that something even seems the slightest bit wrong, ask the employee to step away so that the issue can be investigated. Even something as simple as a small static shock at a desk that an employee notices happening repeatedly out of the blue should be investigated for potentially nearby faulty wires or defective computer equipment. No problem should be too small when it comes to the safety of your employees.
Ensure that your company has a policy in place for people to report issues with faulty equipment or workplace hazards. Employees will not report issues if they fear being penalized in any way, and that can make you even more susceptible to a workers’ comp claim. There should also be procedures to follow so that work processes can come to a halt safely until the hazard is addressed by the proper authority. For example, if a defective piece of equipment catches on fire, everyone in the building should know what to do next from evacuating to grabbing the nearest fire extinguisher.
Tying into tip number four, train your employees on your workplace safety procedures. Every employee should know where safety equipment is placed around the building as well as where the nearest exit is to them at all times. Technology is constantly updating, meaning that equipment in the workplace is always evolving. Holding regularly scheduled safety training meetings is essential to protect your workers, and your business.
If you need help making your business a safe place for your employees, contact a lawyer near you immediately.
Ms. Katje earned her Juris Doctorate at California Western School of Law, San Diego, California, graduated Cum Laude and was a Dean’s Honor List recipient. She was also a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Contracts I and Contracts II. Ms. Katje was a member of the Law Review and International Law Journal at California Western School Law, where she was an Associate Editor.