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Chris Bell

Small Business Workplace Accidents in Ireland

Injuries in the workplace range quite a bit, but so do the accidents at small or large businesses. It doesn’t matter whether or business is big or small, taking the proper precautions to prevent workplace incidents is key. There are ways to avoid injuries and, of course, fatalities. It depends on what kind of business you are, but every company can work to keep their employees safe. While it may feel like you don’t know where to start, a good place to begin is with a risk assessment.

Workplace Risk Assessment

Every employer is required to take a workplace risk assessment. These assessments include identifying potential hazards and keep a written log of the risks that are associated with the workplace. The results of this assessment are written into a Safety Statement that contains policies specific to the business. In addition, the Safety Statement contains procedures and responsibilities of both the employers and employees respectively. While it’s imperative for your business’s health and safety policy, a risk assessment is one of the documents required to submit with a tender application. You and also read guidelines for the Safety Statement to prepare.

Preventing Accidents & Injuries

One-third of all workplace injuries are from manual labor. This isn’t much of a surprise, but it may be news to you that slips and falls are second, at almost 18 percent of all workplace accidents. In addition to showing due diligence on workplace risk assessments and Safety Statements, you can also use a free online tool created by the Health and Safety Authority to prevent accidents. BeSMART facilitates businesses by enabling them to prepare for assessments that are specific to their small business.

Not only does it cover over 200 business types, it can help reduce costs, absenteeism, and administrative hiccups. Currently over 16,000 small businesses are registered, indicating that a minimum 86 percent reduction in cost and a 71 percent reduction in time spent. According to McGinley Solicitors, an Irish law firm that handles injury at work cases, in 2011 the total 830 workplace claims that costed €22.5 million.

Investing in Liability Insurance

One of the things you should do to protect yourself as a business owner is to invest in liability insurance. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, accidents happen as they say. Investing in liability ensure that your business is covered for any and all accidents, injuries, hospital bills, loss of property, and more. If you fail to insure your business, you could find yourself in a pretty deep hole should something unexpected happen. Depending on the severity of the accident, the costs can be very high. Liability insurance should be on your list just the same as property insurance. Don’t regret it, give yourself the peace of mind and necessary liability coverage.

When an Accident Occurs

When something happens at your small business, you need to show due diligence to see to it that you aren’t on the hook for a lot of money. It is important to take both the accident and injury seriously. Don’t discourage necessary medical attention, which could lead into trouble later. Do a thorough investigation of the incident. What led up to it? How were things different this time from what normally happens? What risks were being taken? Were they normal risks? Is this system inherently flawed? When you have asked yourself these questions, it puts you in a better position to answer them. Talk to the employees involved. It is important not to avoid them.

You should also classify the error. An omission is when something pivotal was left out. Next, a commission is when something crucial was done wrong. Finally, extraneous activity refers to when the employee was doing something extra that added a risk that ended up in an accident. Once you know which kind of accident it was, you will determine who is responsible.

The Claims Process

Whether you are an employee or an employer, you should follow up on the claims process. When an employee has been injured, they have the right to file a claim for compensation. Both parties need to have all the necessary documentation and witnesses before the claim is sent into the Injuries Board. As a business it is very important to be prepared so that you don’t end up in hot water and on the hook for a lot of money and for an employee it is crucial to know your rights and what you can do to get compensated for your pain, time, loss, and inability to work.