Running a business is a stressful job for entrepreneurs as they struggle to maximize sales, deal with financial challenges, and address the daily operational issues. Amid these hassles, it is easy to miss out on unexpected events like accidents on your premises. But believe it or not, you may end up in big trouble if you overlook premises liability.
Negligence in maintaining a safe environment for your customers and employees can have far-reaching implications. The problem is far bigger than you imagine. Did you know that 1.8 million American workers sustained work-related injuries in 2020? Most of them can be attributed to workplace accidents. Besides employees, customers and other visitors may encounter accidents at business locations.
Awareness is the first step toward safeguarding your business against premises liability. Here are a few good reasons to be more watchful about potential injuries to people at your business location.
According to the National Safety Council statistics, work hazards kill millions and cost billions to businesses every year, with the total reaching $ 167 billion in 2021. Injuries to customers and visitors in retail and hospitality locations account for an equally massive financial burden on businesses.
Forbes notes that the average cost of a slip and fall claim is nearly $20,000. Severe injuries can increase the claim value further. You can imagine the financial damage these claims can cause to your business, even if a few of them occur on your premises. Implementing proper safety measures is a far better alternative as it costs a fraction of compensation claims.
Slips and fall mishaps account for over 1 million emergency room visits in the US. They can happen anywhere, at home, work, or in the market. This number is disconcerting for business owners because premises are prone to such accidents. Clutter, damaged flooring, slippery areas, and snow in the driveways are common causes for employees and customers to lose balance and sustain falls.
If the negligence factor comes in, the victim can file a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the business. Likewise, other injuries like those caused by electrocution, fire, animal bites, inadequate safety, and falling objects can also lead to premises liability lawsuits. As a business owner, there seem to be plenty of reasons to stress over safety.
According to Freeman Law Firm, Inc., victims can seek compensation for their medical expenses, economic damages, lost wages, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering. In some cases, they can even claim punitive damages to ensure that the negligent business owners have to pay.
Regulatory compliance is another aspect of premises liability. All organizations need to adhere to industry-specific safety standards to prevent accidents and safeguard people on the premises. For example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for worker safety. Similarly, hotels, event venues, and retail locations must follow certain guidelines to prevent mishaps.
While these standards may vary, compliance is mandatory for businesses of all sizes and scales. Failing to adhere to them can lead to hefty penalties. Ensuring compliance should be a priority as it addresses the risk of accidents, prevents penalties and fines, and creates a culture of safety within the organization.
For a business, its reputation is among the most valuable assets. According to WTW, harm to people on the premises is the biggest reputational risk in the hospitality and leisure segment. The news about the smallest incidents can spread like wildfire through word of mouth. No one wants to visit a retail store or restaurant after an accident.
Organizations with a high incidence of worker mishaps often lose their employer brand. Remember that even a single premises liability event can ruin your credibility and erode customer and employee trust. Going the extra mile with premises safety makes sense because repairing your reputation after a negative experience is practically impossible.
Employee productivity and morale aren’t only about providing them with the best tools and training. It is also about creating a safe workplace where they don’t stress about accidents and injuries. However, with 2.8 people out of 100 getting injured at work every year, employees cannot consider themselves safe.
Employers should pay more attention to premises safety to keep accident risks and injuries at bay. Assurance about safety builds a happy and productive workforce. At the same time, reduced workforce injuries can minimize absenteeism and workers' compensation costs. It also boosts worker retention in the long run.
In conclusion, premises liability is the last thing business owners should overlook. The implications of premises accidents go beyond your imagination, hurting your finances, operations, and reputation as a brand and employer.
You can prevent premises liability concerns by following proper safety protocols, staying compliant with industry regulations, and fostering a culture of safety. That’s enough to reduce accidents and keep everyone on your premises safe.