Workplace Rules for Employees

Workplace rules for employees along with employee background checks can reduce your liability and help ensure the safety of your staff. Business liability insurance is a valuable asset for many companies. If someone--an employee or visitor--experiences injury or property damage on your premises, they can sue for negligence. Without liability insurance, the company is stuck paying the settlement and legal fees out-of-pocket. But business liability insurance helps cover those costs so you can continue business operations with minimal financial disruption.

Some companies choose to forgo business liability insurance and take the gamble that they will never experience a lawsuit. Cost is a barrier to smaller businesses, and business liability insurance just doesn't fit into the budget each year. One way to lower costs is implementing workplace rules for employees. When customers demonstrate to their insurance providers that they are taking loss-control measures, the company usually lowers their rates. Workplace rules that are proven to lessen instances of accidents make you less expensive to insure, and you can reap the benefits of having insurance without the high cost.

Developing your own workplace rules depends on the nature of your business. Safety rules for a retail store differ from those of a shipyard, so tailor your policy to your employees' environment. Before implementing the rules, have a risk manager or human resources professional and an attorney give them a look to be sure you have your bases covered within the limits of the law.

Implementing the Policy

Posting the rules in the break room isn't enough to take substantial loss-control measures. You must educate your employees of their roles in making these rules work. You can start by designating a health and safety officer, either an existing employee or new hire, to be an authority on the new rules. This person should have some health and safety experience, like CPR certification.

In larger companies, getting managers on board first with the new workplace rules can create a trickling down of compliance. Inform the managers of the rules for their subordinates and the consequences if the rules are not followed. To be sure the rules are clear, arrange for a demonstration of proper workplace rules compliance. Seeing these policies in action is much more effective than reading about them in a pamphlet. That said, be sure each employee is given a copy of the rules to refer back to when a question arises.

Stress to employees the importance of the rules for the company's compliance with state or federal law, as well as the implications for not following the new workplace rules. Instituting formal consequences encourages employees to be cognizant of their expectations. Have each employee sign an agreement that they understand the tenets of the policy and the consequences for failing to uphold its tenets. Give a copy to the employee and keep a copy for the company's records as further evidence that the policy was implemented and understood by each employee. The stronger steps you take toward proper implementation, the lower your risk could be for a negligence suit.

Enumerate all these measures to your insurance agent, including a copy of the handbook, the chain of command for enforcement and the consequences for non-compliance presented to your employees. If the provider deems your policy a meaningful step toward lessening your liability, you could enjoy lower rates for your business liability coverage. Even if you do not see a discount from these measures, reducing your liability keeps your costs in check. Each time you make a claim, your rates rise significantly and the provider can even refuse to renew your coverage. In any event, you are making positive steps toward a safer work environment.

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