Preventing Negligence at Work

You’ve got a business, and a premises which is your point of sales. Your customers and clients enter your premise and you have certain responsibilities to them, ones you are held legally liable for. If they injure themselves on your premise and it is proven that you’re liable, you will have to pay the suit. One of the major sources of liability suits is negligence, i.e. that due to inaction or a lack of oversight, a preventable accident was caused.

Preventing Negligence, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MATypes of Negligence

Before talking about ways to prevent negligence, it’s important to define the types of negligence, specifically what separates these categories.

Casual/Ordinary Negligence

Casual or ordinary negligence is the lack of ordinary diligence, meaning that the lapse of was that of ordinary care. An ordinary person in this situation would have exercised care in this situation that was not present. Liability does not ordinarily extend to ordinary negligence, but a party must be free of even ordinary negligence to seek indemnity. In short, ordinary negligence is the want of ordinary diligence.

Slight Negligence

Slight negligence is the next step up and the degree at which the company can be held liable for negligence, also known as “featherweight” negligence. While in ordinary it was a breach of ordinary care, in slight negligence the level of expected care is higher. In short, slight negligence is the want of high diligence.

Gross Negligence

If casual or slight negligence is a careless mistake, gross negligence is a willful and reckless disregard for due diligence, a conscious and voluntary disregard for care. Gross negligence is a step away from intentional conduct and intent to injure. In short, gross negligence is the want of any diligence.

Preventing Negligence

Ideally you want to prevent any sort of negligence at your workplace, and in theory it isn’t hard: you have rules that follow the care you and your employees have to your clients and your premise, to prevent injuries. When a customer enters your place of business, you not only have a safe environment for them to shop, but you also have a record of your activities to prove you’ve been using reasonable care.

Safety Sweeps

Have yourself or an employee perform regular safety sweep, checking your premise for situations of increased risk, such as spilled food or drink, tripping hazards, and malfunctioning equipment or lighting. Having a regularly schedule both filled up and signed off, allowing you to show a history of reasonable care.

Immediate Action

If you find a problem, fix it immediately. Show reasonable care and make sure to document the steps taken. Delaying or ignoring the problem is negligence, the degree depending on the problem that arises from it and the expected level of care.

Proactive Measures

Go on the offense and solve problems before they start. If you’re in retail, think about place a sign at the door about no food or drink. This shows the store tried to prevent problems. Look at your store from the perspective negligence: are those boxes stacked too high? Also keep accident report sheets on hand for recording any incidents that come up, including what the customer was wearing (flip-flops vs heels) or anything else that could have contributed to the accident. Also cameras provide double duty as loss prevention and evidence for liability cases.

The first step to reduce your liability risk and negligence is a consultation with specialists. If you want your business analyzed for liability and the next step, coverage with liability insurance, please contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency. We’re experts in commercial insurance and liability.