The last thing that business owners want to deal with is a lawsuit. Handling a personal injury claim can be an expensive and time-consuming ordeal that distracts owners from their business goals.
However, there are measures that business owners can take to avoid these kinds of lawsuits and protect themselves from liability. Here are some essential tips for business owners to reduce the chances of an accident on their property.
1. Ensuring proper maintenance is always key
One of the most common incidents that business owners are held responsible for are slips and falls. Possibly the most effective way to prevent falls is for business owners to make sure they properly maintain their property.
This means that it is critical for business owners to:
- Be mindful of their property conditions
- Establish and meet high safety standards
- Repair any damage or hazards as soon as possible
Although business owners owe a different kind of duty to their employees than their customers, it may be helpful to consider many of the same safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for maintenance matters. If their property is safe by OSHA's standards, then it is likely safe for customers and any other third-parties as well.
2. Be proactive about posting signs
If it is not possible to repair a hazard right away, then business owners must post warning signs as soon as possible.
Placing visible warning signs should help prevent accidents. Even if they do not, upholding the responsibility to warn third-parties of the potential risks protects business owners against liability.
3. Request inspections regularly
Official inspections can help business owners catch any potential hazards before they become a larger problem. This can help prevent accidents or injuries.
The concept of "regular" usually depends on several factors, including:
- Iowa's laws and regulations regarding inspections
- How many employees and customers a business has
- The type of business, from a retail store to a manufacturing plant
Securing regular inspections also provides crucial evidence if business owners do face a lawsuit. Therefore, even if someone suffers an injury on the property, providing records of safety inspections can protect them in the event of a lawsuit.