Don’t overlook obvious safety risks

When it comes to your business, you have a great deal to think about. At any given moment, you may be mulling over everything from your customer’s satisfaction and warranty issues with your products to hiring new employees and determining if you need a confidentially agreement for your existing employees.

You also have to determine how to minimize your businesses’ risks, whether it involves ensuring new products or services do not infringe on the intellectual property of other businesses or how to reduce your workers’ compensation expenses by helping your employees remain safe on the job.

If some or all of your employees drive as part of their work-related activities, helping them avoid car accidents can be a real source of savings. The National Safety Council reports that the cost of an injury claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident can average almost $70,000.

We all know that cellphone and texting use are causing an increase in distracted driving, with 60 percent of drivers admitting to talking on the phone and 25 percent text and drive.

To help prevent this with your employees, you must have a formal, written policy and you need to practice what you preach, because your violation of the policy will effectively gut it before it is implemented. And because you will pay your medical expenses and insurance costs if you are seriously injured.

People forget, especially with a behavior that is becoming as common as cellphone use. Remind everyone, as often as possible, of the policy and ensure that your managers and supervisors conform to the policy, as their violations also undercut the message.

Your attorney and insurance agent can work together with your management team to develop a policy that is straightforward and clear, that will save money and keep everyone safe from negligent behavior.

The Wall Street Journal, “Four Steps to Help Keep Employee Drivers Distraction-Free,” The Travelers Companies, April 10, 2014