Liability comes in many forms, and businesses are subject to liability issues around every corner. To mitigate the burden of liability, you have to think carefully how you will run your business, and how your employees will work for you. While it would be impossible to cover every kind of liability issue a company will face, here are five keys to avoiding common liability issues.
Forging an Operating Agreement between Partners
Without an operating agreement between partners in a company venture, a company is open to all kinds of liability that could arise between the owners of the company. By putting a properly drafted, legally binding operating agreement into place, each partner in a business venture has certain protections against the activities carried out by other partners who are party to the said agreement.
Operate by a Policies and Procedures Manual
Where a lot of companies get themselves in trouble is by not having and enforcing a policies and procedures manual and signed agreement. First, you have your new employees read the policies and procedures manual from cover to cover. Once they read it, you make them sign an agreement that they have read it and that they will follow it. This way, you have a lot of leverage to prevent legal liabilities that might pop up later. Their signing the agreement can protect you in many cases—especially if you keep tabs on when your employees break with the policies and procedures outlined in the agreement they signed.
A Code of Conduct Agreement
Another liability crusher that you need in place is a code of conduct agreement that every employee reads and signs that is separate from your policies and procedures manual. This code of conduct should be binding if an employee is on the clock or even if they are on company property. There are many things an employee’s behavior can do to create liability issues for your company. They could behave in ways that do damage to your customer base.
If you are trying to avoid liabilities in your business, then providing your staff with adequate safety training is a must. The last thing you want is someone doing something dangerous that gets them hurt on the job because they did not know to wear the proper safety equipment for the task. Also, when it comes to dealing with the electrical systems of your company, you will probably want your employees to contact an electrical service to avoid being electrocuted.
Looking for Hazards
If you want to be certain customers visiting your facility, office or bricks and mortar store are safe, you must keep a constant lookout for hidden dangers. Slip and fall lawsuits and other injury-related liabilities could take a heavy toll on your business’s ability to remain operational. In fact, you could really get on top of this problem by doing something many business-owners fail to do. You could offer incentives to employees who can identify legitimate dangers to customers that should be addressed. Small perks like these will cost your company far less than a full-blown injury lawsuit.
When it comes to liabilities, there are some you can avoid entirely. Others are best avoided by mitigating the effect they have on your business. How you choose to deal with liability is certainly up to you, but know for a certainty that liability is ever a clear and present danger for any company and its owners.