As if starting a business wasn’t’ enough risk on its own, there are many other liability factors that you have to consider regularly as an owner. You can dream up all of the right reasons to own your own business – being your own boss, paying your own paycheck, having the freedom to work as you want – but beyond that, you have to mitigate all the potential risks that come with being an independent operator.
So what are a few of these ways that liability can come into the equation? If someone gets injured on your property, there is premises liability. If you don’t follow OSHA regulations, you can be liable for injuries or incidents. If you let your employees get on the wrong side of sexual harassment issues, you can be held accountable for that as a manager or owner. And, all of this can lead to financial troubles, which in turn lead to more liability.
Are you aware of how important it is to do things like keeping your parking lot clear of debris, or free from ice and snow if you live in colder climates? If someone falls on your property, you can be liable if it was because of your negligence. As a business owner, you are responsible for creating a safe atmosphere for yourself, your clients, and your employees. Try to cut corners in this regard, and you will be held liable.
You have to follow OSHA regulations. These are not suggestions. If something terrible happens to one of your employees, or if you create a product that is somehow dangerous, and regulators find that you have not followed the appropriate regulations, not only are you liable for damage in the form of fines, you may even end up going to jail! It’s just not worth it. Pay attention to OSHA, and make it a cornerstone of your business model. You may even wish to hire someone like iSi Environmental, Health and Safety to act as OSHA consultants for you to ensure that you are following the appropriate regulations at all times.
Sexual Harassment Issues
If you have not trained your employees in sexual harassment as it is associated with workplaces and offices, you are just gunning for trouble. If it is not on record that you put your company through sexual harassment training, and then something happens where there is a lawsuit, that will come directly back up to your inability to manage your employees accordingly, and once again, you may be liable for the results.
From all of these liabilities, financial troubles can follow. And once you start getting in debt or some other situation where money is short, that can cascade into more financial trouble and more liability. Especially if you have loans out that you have to repay, it is critical that you never start down the slippery slope of bad financial decisions.