As a business owner, negligence poses a huge risk to both clients and employees. It’s easy to overlook safety measures, but when an incident happens and you’re not prepared, you could be liable for negligence. Before you get worried, take a deep breath, because we’re about to go over the different kinds of negligence and provide some tips on how to avoid them all together!
Ordinary negligence is somewhat minor, referring to the lack of reasonable measures to prevent harm or injury. This is applied to individuals being mindful of their surroundings and taking precautions for their own well-being. Basically, this refers to common sense, being mindful of one’s surroundings. An example of this would be not exercising the proper caution of a slippery walkway after a winter storm.
While the business isn’t typically found liable for ordinary negligence, it’s not unheard of. Yet, this isn’t just a matter of insurance and money, this is also an opportunity to show customers you care about their well-being. An easy way to avoid ordinary negligence would simply be to remind people to exercise caution. In the event of a slippery walkway, for example, put up a sign where people can easily see, urging them to be mindful of slippery conditions.
Slight negligence, also called ‘featherweight’ negligence, is the next highest level of negligence. This is very similar to ordinary negligence except that the company or small business is held liable. This negligence can be characterized by a lack of necessary diligence in the workplace. In other words, this is when a higher level of caution is called for but not taken into consideration.
To prevent slight negligence, remember to enforce precautions. Develop safety procedures, provide signage that reminds people of inappropriate behavior, or even have training sessions to promote safety and correct procedures.
Gross negligence is defined as the intentional, even reckless disregard for safety in the workplace. When rules are not in place to ensure safety. If you allow your staff to practice unsafe procedures and they, or clients, become harmed as a result, you could be liable for negligence. This also means making sure that employees are working in a way that serious errors are avoided for optimal customer service.
The opposite of all negligence is diligence, you’ll want to exercise any and all caution in advance so that when something does happen you’ll be able to mitigate any issues. For gross negligence, this means being particularly proactive. Performing audits will enable you to track work trends and make sure proper procedures are followed. Simply making a safety-inspection checklist and doing a sweep of the workplace can also help you identify and eliminate potential threats. If you see anything that might become dangerous, or perhaps poor work practice, take action immediately. Resolving little issues will not only avert big accidents but help you avoid negligence altogether.
Consider Negligence Insurance
If your business tends to work in a field that carries a lot of risks, such as construction, consider adding negligence coverage to your business insurance policy. Even with optimal diligence, accidents can still happen. Having negligence insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you have financial coverage if things go awry. This may also give you and your staff a morale boost, showing that you take your business’ reputation seriously enough to invest in the coverage. If you’re contemplating negligence coverage or other business insurance, please reach out to us at Freedom Insurance. Our experienced agents will help you choose the policies that are most in line with your needs.