Taking control of your risks does more than protect your company.
Most business owners know the value of having the right insurance coverage. They’ve done their homework and selected the right policies to protect them and their assets in the event of an unforeseen accident or disaster. But only those companies who take a proactive approach to mitigating risks will be able to curb insurance claims which in the end, helps their bottom line. While insurance premiums vary and can fluctuate from year to year, there are real benefits to keeping your record clean, including saving money. With that in mind, here’s a guide on common risks and how to mitigate them.
You’ve got smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in all the right places throughout your business. But is that enough? It’s definitely a great way to prevent a fire from spreading, but to truly protect your business, you should do all you can to reduce the risk of a fire starting in the first place. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of fire in your business:
• Regular and routine audit of electrical systems and control panels
• Keep clutter to a minimum
• Properly discard items and materials that may pose a fire hazard (rags with chemicals or oil)
• Keep machinery running smoothly and well maintained
• Safely store all chemicals and hazardous materials according to industry recommendations
• Adhere to proper smoking regulations and if necessary, designate a smoking area and enforce proper extinguishing of cigarettes
• Follow OSHA guidelines when it comes to fire prevention
Every company has rules of safety that can greatly reduce accidents which in turn can reduce worker’s compensation claims. Tips to preventing injuries in your company include:
• Stick to the schedule and don’t take shortcuts: rushing to get things done faster often results in accidents
• Pay attention to the weather and don’t take chances in extreme conditions: lightening, extreme heat and cold pose a risk to the health and wellbeing of your staff
• Make sure you have the proper safety equipment as required by your industry: hardhats, safety goggles, masks, and work boots all protect your workers from possible injury
• Keep things clean and clutter free: boxes stacked up, debris, spills, and items blocking the exits are all hazards that could cause danger and people to trip, slip, and fall
• Implement, train, and follow safety protocol with your team
3. Data breach and/or liability issues
The influence of technology has brought on a whole new set of risks for companies: data being lost or stolen and the threat of being sued for libel or slander for something you’ve said online. The reality is, companies need policies in place to ensure that everyone on the team knows how to properly handle confidential information, including data belonging to customers and how to behave when they interact online. These two issues, although different, need to be addressed and managed to minimize risk of lawsuits and losses. Here are ways to handle these risks.
• Train employees of the best practices for handling and protecting confidential data
• Only give access to those team members who need it
• Ensure you are encrypting data and if necessary enlist the services of a technology provider
• Keep up to date with all security software updates
• Only collect and keep the data you actually need
• Reduce the number of places where information is stored
• Eliminate unnecessary data responsibly
Social Media/online interaction
• Draft and implement a social media policy that outlines acceptable and unacceptable online behaviors
• Designate a social media coordinator or manager to monitor all activity on your company pages
• Only post appropriate content that relates to your company
• Ensure that pictures and all other content on your page belongs to your company and/or employees and is not the property, likeness, or copywritten material of anyone else
• Train all employees on proper social media behavior
Any business faces risks that are often inevitable. But with the right amount of planning and proactive actions, you can minimize many of the risks that would cause you to have to make an insurance claim. Follow these tips and talk to us about other ways you can keep the cost of your business insurance down.