This is a collaborative post
If a customer, employee or third party is injured or made sick and they are able to put your company at fault, there is a risk that they could then file a personal injury lawsuit against you. Personal injury lawsuits are one of the most common types of lawsuit and they can be very costly for the recipient. These lawsuits can occur as a result of poor health and safety practices, however there can be more to it than this. Below are just a few ways in which you can protect your business against these types of lawsuits.
Train your staff thoroughly
It’s important that you provide thorough health and safety training to your staff. This includes training your employees how to protect themselves from injury and sickness, as well as how to protect customers and third party individuals from injury or sickness.
This could include training staff how to pick up heavy items so that they don’t damage their back or training staff to keep walkways clear so that there are no trip hazards for other employees or customers. Some of these safety measures may seem like common sense, but it’s still important to include them within training. An employee is in their right to put the fault on you if you have not provided training.
Use warning signage and labels
You may be able to remove certain dangers or put barriers in place of certain hazards. However, there are some hazards that cannot be avoided (such as the risk of someone burning themselves with hot coffee).
The best you can do to protect yourself is to use signage and labels. Wet floor signs and ‘caution hot!’ labels on coffee cups can give you a legal foot to stand on if someone gets hurt and files a lawsuit. If you do not point out these dangers, as obvious as they are, you may find it hard to form a defence.
Conduct a health and safety audit
A health and safety audit involves thoroughly inspecting every area of your business in order to identify any possible hazards that could lead to an injury or sickness. You can then find ways to protect against these hazards.
It’s possible to outsource a health and safety inspector to carry out an audit for you. Such an inspector may be able to identify big risks that you may not have even considered.
Take out insurance
In the event of a lawsuit, insurance can help to pay out compensation so that you don’t have to pay money out of your own pocket. Personal injury lawsuits can be very expensive sometimes, so having such insurance in place can be useful.
If you’ve got employees, you’re legally obliged to take out employers liability insurance. There are other types of insurance that you can take out that may be suited to certain industries such as insurance for tradesmen. Shop around in order to find the best deals. It’s important to note that having good health and safety measures in place can often reduce your insurance rates.
Unfortunately, personal injury fraud can occur. This is when someone falsely claims that your company injured them or made them sick.Personal injury fraud is common within industries such as hospitality and retail. Installing CCTV could help you to capture evidence to determine whether an injury occured or not.