Employee safety is a number one concern for many business owners. We typically think about how we can improve the wellbeing of our employees by offering them a more comfortable working environment and so on, but something that we rarely think about is their safety when they use our assets. Of course, you might think that it’s their own responsibility. After all, if an employee drives a company car and ends up crashing, then it’s most likely their fault, right?
While it’s true that they were the one using the vehicle, you might still be responsible for the employee. For example, you might be asked to give that employee extra driving lessons, you might need to install some safety equipment on the car, and you’re ultimately responsible for whatever they do.
If you want to ensure that your employees are safe when using your business assets, then here are a couple of tips you should follow so when something does happen, it’s down to them and not you.
Most small businesses won’t be able to afford expensive assets such as a company vehicle, but there will still be a time and place when you can invest extra money into a vehicle for the sake of transportation or ferrying supplies around to various businesses. When you give an employee the role of driving a car, make sure they’re qualified to do so. Do a background check on their driving license and install various driving aids into the vehicle. For starters, look at rear view camera kits for cars, caravans, trucks & buses and add the appropriate one to your company vehicle. You don’t want your employee to reverse into other cars and be responsible for paying compensation. Install alarms so that if the car is stolen or broken into, you at least have a deterrent. Lastly, make sure you have a GPS device installed in the vehicle so you can track its location from your office.
If your employees have to operate specialised machinery, then ensure they have the correct training to use them. Be it workshop tools or something less dangerous, always give them sufficient training and monitor them as they learn to use it. Don’t allow them to use specialised workshop equipment and machinery until they pass the necessary qualifications, and don’t teach them without a specialist on hand who can verify what you’re saying. The worst thing that can happen is your employees injure themselves using the machines and could blame you for the cause. Be it a lack of safety equipment or insufficient training, they’ll have some way to pin the blame on you. Avoid this by giving them sufficient training, recording all of the training periods, and monitoring them as they use the machine for the first week or two.
In short, make sure that your employees have the sufficient training and safety equipment before they use your business assets. As mentioned at the beginning, you are ultimately responsible for their safety and if you aren’t going the extra mile to keep them from hurting themselves or other people, then you will ultimately be blamed for any accidents that could happen.
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