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How to prevent customer injury and property damage

Sep 6, 2022 · 5 minutes to read

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your clients and their belongings safe. That means taking steps to minimize the risks of harmful events that may lead to injury or property damage. Creating a workplace safety guide is one way to get your entire staff involved in making your business as safe as it can be.

A Plumber fixing a broken pipe in the kitchen

Here are six ways you might minimize risks and help prevent injury and property damage in your business:

1. Look for and fix potential hazards

A great way to prevent injuries and property damage is to regularly assess your business for potential risks. These inspections can help highlight trouble areas in your work premises or procedures. Once they are found, you can make changes to help ensure client safety.

Examples of potential risks you might find include:

  • Tripping hazards caused by power cords, cables, boxes, and other items left on the floor or in walkways
  • Unsafe conditions caused by poor property maintenance (i.e., leaking pipes, missing paving stones, broken glass, etc.)
  • Client property left unsecured or stored improperly
  • Employees not following company procedure when handling client property that is left in your care

Regular assessments are an important way to minimize risks of harm to your business. However, you may want to run surprise inspections too. This gives you a chance to see things as they are on a normal workday without giving staff a chance to clean up first or be on their best behavior.

2. Handle other’s property with care

If you keep client property on your business premises or work with it at another location, you should always take great care. Property damage can easily happen when you’re not being careful, and it could cost you an arm and a leg to repair or replace.

You should also be careful when you visit a client’s home, office, or another work site. While accidents do happen, they may be less likely if you are aware of your surroundings. Remember, even an innocent mishap—like knocking over an expensive vase—could leave you with a hefty bill from your client!

3. Perform regular maintenance

Keeping your business premises well maintained can go a long way towards preventing injuries and property damage. As already mentioned, a poorly maintained office or shop creates unneeded risks to your business. Repairs that could help prevent injury include:

  • Replacing cracked tiles and paving stones
  • Replacing broken glass in windows or mirrors
  • Securing loose gutters
  • Trimming tree branches and overgrown bushes

Proper tool and equipment maintenance can also help prevent injury and property damage. Faulty tools may not provide the quality and precision needed for a job and could potentially destroy a client’s belongings. They might also cause you to injure another contractor or bystander as you work.

4. Post warning signs around hazards

While you should fix potential risks right away, there may be times when this is not possible. Posting a warning sign can help alert others of the danger and prevent injury. For example, if water is spilled in your shop, a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign can be placed over the spill until it can be cleaned up.

If you work in a high-risk industry, you may need permanent warning signs posted around your workspace. These are often mandated by law, especially for hazards such as high voltage electricity use or storage of hazardous materials.

5. Keep a record of incidents

Following a workplace safety guide can help you and your staff prevent many injuries and incidents of property damage. But accidents may still happen despite your best efforts. It’s important to keep records of each event, so you can learn from them later. Keeping records of injuries and property damage incidents can help you find areas of risk that you might be overlooking.

6. General Liability insurance as damage control

Even if you follow your workplace safety guide to the letter, you may still be hit with an injury or property damage claim. General Liability insurance could help you handle these events without draining your bank accounts.

Also referred to as Commercial General Liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”, a General Liability policy helps protect your business against bodily injury or property damage lawsuits from outside parties. Instead of paying out of pocket for expensive legal fees and compensation, your policy will cover the costs of insured claims.

Looking for General Liability insurance for your small business? Compare quotes from top-rated insurers online and get covered instantly with BizInsure. It only takes 10 minutes—start now!

*As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
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