When you first have your idea for business, it’s easy to get carried away with all the good stuff. Consider the creation of your business plan that lays out a step-by -step guide of how you will dominate your industry. Or think about the guerrilla marketing tactics you will use to make a noise and get your name out there. It’s an exciting time, for sure – but there are some important nuts and bolts you are forgetting: namely; safety and health.
As a startup owner, you might be working on your own, or with a small group of cofounders and select – and trusted – personnel. And you might feel that little things such as safety and health are irrelevant right now, at least until you start hiring people correctly. But make no mistake about it, making sure you provide everyone with a safe and healthy workplace should be a priority earlier rather than later. And if you don’t take it seriously, you will suffer the consequences. With this in mind, here are a few tips for all startup owners to make sure they are covered for any eventuality.
The first step you need to take is to assess the risks in your place of work. You should plan to run these assessments as audits, and always set aside time to look for dangers of all varieties. Ultimately, if an employee, supplier, or customer has an accident on your premises, you could be liable for a compensation claim. A slip and fall hazard is just one of the causes of premises liability accidents. Regardless of whether you rent or own the building your business is located in, you’re responsible for whoever steps inside — from employees and customers to vendors and solicitors. For employees, these are the benefits of having a workers compensation lawyer. And depending on the injuries suffered by the victim, it could well be enough to sink your business.
Address the basics
There are general safety and health rules that affect every business, but there are industry-specific standards you need to meet, too. For engineering companies, for example, should make sure you are aware of the ASSE standards for the use of equipment, hazards in the workplace, or general safety guidelines at an early stage. As long as you follow the rules and give your employees the regular safety training, you should be able to protect your business from potential disaster.
There is a huge range of services out there which you can use to ensure you are up to speed with current laws and regulations. Whether it involves developing relationships with safety inspectors or hiring a third party HR service in your early stages is down to you. But by having this expertise by your side, you will be able to get on with more important tasks – such as growing your business out of its startup shell.
Write a plan
Finally, just as you would for any other area of your business, ensure you have a plan in place for safety and health. It should document all the possible risks that you might face in the future, including costings. As long as you make it clear you are doing everything practically possible to protect your workers and provide a safe environment, you shouldn’t have an issue.
Failing to devise a proper safety and health plan for your business could result in a huge disaster. And it’s an area more startups need to focus on to give them the protection they require.
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