3 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Staff as a Business Owner

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The life of a business owner sounds great on paper, and it certainly does have its perks in reality. Working for yourself, and putting your time, energy, and labour towards developing your own company is certainly more fulfilling as a whole than working for someone else for a major chunk of all of your waking hours.

But being a business owner is by no means stress-free, and you have just about as many obligations as you do benefits when running your own business, if not more obligations.

One of the most stressful parts of any business owner’s working life is structuring things in such a way as to protect themselves from legal issues, and their staff from danger or mistreatment.

Here are a few tips for achieving these two aims.

Install adequate safety equipment in any area of your business where it’s required

Different types of business will inevitably need different health and safety protocols to be put into place, ranging from fire extinguishers in kitchens, to slippery floor signs, and appropriate PPE for work with hazardous substances.

If your business involves you running your own warehouse — which is a very common thing for all retail-based businesses — one of the best health and fitness steps you can take is by installing impact barriers. Impact barriers reduce vehicle accidents, making potentially lethal forklift accidents significantly less likely.

Assess the layout and requirements of your own workspace, and install adequate safety equipment in any area of your business where it’s required. Don’t try and cut corners, or assume that everyone will be fine. It only takes one serious accident to ruin an employees life, and for you to find yourself battling a lawsuit.

Be clear in your contracts with all employees and clients

Many issues develop in the workplace due to poorly worded contracts, or contracts which have been written specifically to be exploitative.

In order to ensure the wellbeing of your employees, be sure to structure a reasonable contract for them, and ensure that each employee understands the stipulations of their contract.

A poorly-worded contract can mean that abusive practices end up taking place in your business, even if you yourself aren’t involved. Vaguely worded contracts can also result in you finding yourself in legally tricky territory.

Always do your due diligence and adhere to a strong ethical code, rather than being overly opportunistic

Business is, generally speaking, a very pragmatic thing, and many people view their professional lives and conduct primarily, or even solely, through the lens of pragmatism.

It’s important to remember that you’re not just playing with numbers on a spreadsheet, however. Your business impacts the lives of your employees, and their families, and the lives of your customers, too.

For the sake of behaving honourably, ensuring that you protect yourself from legal trouble, and safeguard your professional reputation, it’s critically important that you always do your due diligence and adhere to a strong ethical code, rather than being overly opportunistic.

Ensure that you’ve covered all the bases before rashly taking action.

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