Business owners looking to start their first companies and hire their first workers usually focus on getting the nuts and bolts of their operations into place before they start to ponder factors such as employee handbooks, protocols and procedures. If you plan to hire on even a single employee, you’ll need to ensure that you can provide a safe workplace. Go over your workplace safety guide from every angle so that you can reduce your chances of being hit with a workplace injury lawsuit or being accused of negligence.
Providing an environment where your employees can work without fear of injury, either physically or mentally, is vital for every startup company.
Ensuring Occupational Health and Safety.
Some businesses operate in industries that require closely monitored safety procedures to keep their workers out of harm’s way. Examples of more high risk industries include railroad workers, windows washers and flaggers. In addition to educating your staff and providing them with adequate safety equipment, you may want to consider having an attorney work with you to create specific waivers and releases. While you cannot require your workers to sign documents that say that they will not sue you in the event of injury, you can create a documented paper trail that shows how seriously your company takes employee safety.
Reaching Out to Workplace Safety Experts.
Another option for startup businesses is consulting with workplace safety experts. This step can work to eliminate workplace hazards that you may not even know exist. Additionally, workplace safety experts can help you to set up your workplace environment to maximize safety while ensuring that you’re in compliance with federal laws. Since you need to make certain that your workplace is friendly to disabled workers, having a workplace safety expert’s assistance will benefit your business as a whole. Provide a workplace safety expert with a copy of your workplace blueprints and allow them to advise you on setting up your office, manufacturing facilities, meeting rooms, employee lounge, break room and any other applicable location.
Licensing, Bonding and Insurance Regulation.
Even if you will be employing office workers, liability insurance is recommended. Injuries in the workplace can occur at any time and in any setting, so employers are best served by constantly re-evaluating and improving their safety plans. Having your company bonded will also reduce your exposure to financial loss in the event that you are sued for workplace safety violations. Partnering with an insurance provider that will offer your staff comprehensive long and short term disability insurance plans is also a great idea. Find out what other types of insurance are required for your business and industry before any of your employees report to work.
It’s a lot of work to start a company, and while you may be excited to open your business’s doors, taking the time to go over your workplace safety plan will protect your company’s reputation and finances. Remember that there is essentially no way to ensure that an accident will never happen at your company, but the more that you do to prevent, the better you position yourself to defend against claims of negligence. Once a workplace safety expert and an attorney have given you the green light, you can focus on your business’s grand opening.