Engineers face many unique risks every day they are on the job. Your clients rely on your technical knowledge and professional experience to make important decisions and ensure the safety of their project. Even a tiny mistake in your work could create big problems down the line.
Following best working practices and providing a high level of customer service may help you avoid many of the on-the-job risks that worry engineers. Here we take a closer look at some of the common engineering hazards and ways to help minimize their impact on your business.
1. Mistakes in their work
No matter how careful you are, mistakes will likely happen while you are on the job. However, even a small error in your work could mean that an entire project will need to be redone. This can be very costly for your clients and potentially costly for you if they decide to sue.
Implementing a review process can help engineers catch mistakes before they cause a problem. Prep work (such as blueprints, schematics, or calculations) should be reviewed by at least two people before work begins. You can also ask clients to sign off on preparation to ensure everyone is on the same page at each stage.
2. Accusations of negligence
Not meeting a client’s expectations could lead to claims of negligence. Too little communication, avoidable delays, going over budget and many other events can all result in a negligence claim. It’s important to meet a duty of care that would be expected for an engineer in your field.
Clients who feel like they are out of the loop may be more likely to file a lawsuit. Maintaining regular communication, especially around potential delays or budget issues, could help you smooth over any anger or frustration before it becomes an issue. Documenting communication with clients whenever possible may help you in court if they still decide to file a lawsuit.
3. Missing important deadlines
Engineers are often an essential member of a project. Sometimes work can’t proceed until you’ve completed certain steps or provided your sign off. Missing an important deadline might hold up an entire project, and subsequently drive up a client’s expenses.
Organization and time management are important soft skills that engineers should hone. Scheduling apps can help you block out time for work tasks and stay on top of important deadlines.
4. Not delivering promised services
Engineering takes great skill and knowledge, and clients will expect you to live up to industry standards. If you promise them services that you can’t deliver, you run the risk of a lawsuit. What’s more, your professional reputation could also take a hit.
Before taking on a project, make sure you understand the client’s needs and expectations. Renegotiate unreasonable deadlines and present a realistic view of what can (and can’t) be achieved. If what the client needs is beyond your expertise, it’s better to refer them to an engineer who does specialize in that area.
5. Taking on too many projects at once
The job market is unpredictable and engineering work in some industries may be in short supply when the economy is down. This may tempt you to take on every client who comes your way, so you can bank those paychecks while times are good. However, spreading yourself too thin might backfire.
Taking on too many projects at once may increase the changes that you’ll make a mistake, miss deadlines, or most of the other risks discussed above. It may be wiser to take on fewer projects that you can give more attention to, rather than run the risk of upsetting a client.
Professional Liability for Engineers
Good engineers do their best to minimize the risks we’ve outlined above, but it’s not always possible to avoid them. This is why many who work in the engineering field buy Professional Liability insurance for engineers to help protect their business.
A Professional Liability insurance policy (also known as Errors and Omissions or E&O insurance) is an essential policy that protects you and your company in case of a lawsuit due to alleged professional wrongdoing. It can help shield you against claims resulting from mistakes, negligence, undelivered services, and other types of related claims. Professional Liability for engineers provides a safety net for your finances, so you’re not left out of pocket for legal expenses resulting from a claim.
BizInsure makes it easy for engineers to find Professional Liability insurance online. In just minutes you can compare multiple policies from multiple insurers, buy a policy, and receive proof of insurance. No complicated paperwork or waiting for a reply—just the insurance you need, so you can get back to working for your clients!
Receive free Professional Liability quotes today.