Every job has its risks, and carpentry is no exception. These worries might double if you own a small carpentry business. When you’re running the show, it’s also your job to clean up messes and set things right.
Carpentry business risks are part of owning a business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take action now. Basic steps could help prevent carpenter liability exposures that could cut into your hard-earned savings and put the nail in your business’ coffin.
Here are five common carpentry business risks and ways you can help protect your business against them.
Good carpenters take workplace safety seriously. If you are injured on the job, it could impact your ability to earn an income. You might be forced to temporarily close your business, miss out on projects, and potentially lose clients. However, injuries to others might cause just as much trouble for your business.
Injuries to your clients and customers may lead to expensive compensation claims or lawsuits. Even an accident—like someone tripping over your toolbox on a worksite—could leave you with a huge hospital bill to cover.
General Liability insurance can be a great backup to your safety procedures. These carpenter insurance policies help cover third-party injury claims, so you don’t have to pay these expenses from your accounts.
2. Lost, stolen or damaged tools
“A poor carpenter blames their tools,” but they’re still essential to getting your work done! Not having the tools you need could seriously set you back. It could mean waiting for costly repairs or replacements and potentially missing out on business while you wait.
Ways to help protect your tools from loss, damage or theft include:
- Proper care and maintenance to help them last longer
- Keep a tool checklist when you’re working outside your workshop to prevent loss
- Return your tools as soon as you’re finished using them
- Secure all tools in a locked tool chest, vehicle, or workspace to deter thieves
3. Damaging others’ property
Carpenters often work in residential homes, businesses, and construction worksites. This puts you in contact with many other people—like customers, clients, contractors and the general public—and their property. Even if it’s an accident, you could be liable for damage you cause to someone else’s belongings.
General Liability insurance can also help you prevent carpenter liability exposures related to third-party property damage. If you unintentionally break another person’s belongings on the job, your policy will help cover the costs of repairing or replacing their property.
4. Bad weather
The services you offer may mean working at the mercy of mother nature. Rough carpentry, framing, and outdoor installations are all reasons why you might be working outside. Rain and other wild weather could cause expensive project delays, and extreme temperatures could make it harder to do your job.
Ways to help protect yourself when you work outside include:
- Consider the weather when booking jobs or installations
- Include buffer time into work contracts (when possible) to account for weather delays
- Always dress appropriately for the season, including wearing hats, sunglasses, or layers
- Drink water and take frequent breaks in high temperatures
5. Customer complaints
Complaints are a carpentry business risk that many carpenters only think about when they happen. A bad review (either online or through word of mouth) could mean lost clients, missed opportunities, and slower business growth.
Good customer service can go a long way toward preventing complaints and negative reviews. Keeping clients up to date on how their project is going, being considerate of their time, and leaving their property clean and tidy are all appreciated. Steps like these may not seem like much, but they can help build goodwill and make it easier to manage serious issues if they arise.
Nailing risk prevention
Carpentry business risks may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to slow you down. Taking steps to help avoid risk and prevent carpenter liability exposures could help your business thrive. And if they do happen, carpenter insurance can help remove some of the burden and expense of setting things right.
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