No business owner wants to even think about the chances of being sued, but the unfortunate truth is that we do live in a litigious society. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Thankfully, however, there are ways to minimize your risk. Taking extra precautions just might be what keeps a lawsuit from happening to you.
Get to Know Relevant Rules and Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the United States Department of Labor that is responsible for ensuring safe working conditions in every major industry. As an employer, you are responsible for complying with the regulations that are relevant to your specific industry. You can learn about these regulations by visiting the OSHA website and clicking on the “Standards” tab. The website also offers training and other helpful resources. In addition to creating a safe workplace, you will be required to provide your employees with the proper safety equipment and training. Knowing and following the OSHA standards is the first step to minimizing your risk of being sued.
Put Up a Warning Sign
Part of making your business safe is the appropriate signage. There should be clearly marked exits, disability guides, and signs posted to warn of any potential risks. Some signs are used to warn customers and employees of hazards. This should include signs indicating wet floors, potentially dangerous places, highly flammable areas, high voltage areas, biohazards, and spots where slips, trips, and falls are possible. Properly marking workplace hazards will go a long way to reducing your liability.
Make Your Business a Separate Legal Entity
If you own a small company, you might not have thought about separating yourself from your business. You do this by filing your company as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. When you don’t separate yourself from your business, your personal assets are at risk in the event of a lawsuit. When you form an LLC or corporation, however, only the company funds are at risk. Once you have separated your business from yourself, be sure to purchase liability insurance. It is the failsafe available to you when taking the above steps still isn’t enough.
Don’t lose your business to a lawsuit. Take every precaution possible to minimize your liability and reduce the risk of being sued. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is especially true when it comes to protecting your business from the people out there who are, unfortunately, all-too ready to take advantage of you.
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