By protecting your employees, you’re protecting your business overall. You may work in a labor-intensive industry and want to shield your employees from the financial ramifications of an injury. Or your line of business may involve regularly providing advice and professional services to clients, thus opening up the possibility that one of your employees will be blamed for misrepresentation or negligence.
These two scenarios demonstrate why your company needs a combination of workers compensation coverage and professional liability insurance to truly protect employees. After all, “workplace safety” encompasses both job-site safety and the security of employees’ careers (and your company’s overall finances). Workers who know their employer has their back, so to speak, will be more confident in performing their duties.
A few years ago, a pallet manufacturer in Ohio’s Amish community was found to be in violation of OSHA standards when a 14-year-old temporary employee injured his hand and had to have it amputated. They faced two separate fines of $39,150 and $43,200, with the goal of “making sure the company owns the safety and health of (temporary) workers.”
Obviously, this is an extreme case. But it just goes to show that failure to protect workers with legal workplace standards can result in unfortunate injuries, regulatory fines and medical/rehabilitation costs for injured employees. Workers’ compensation coverage helps with the latter, and protects overall company finances by heading off costly lawsuits over workplace conditions. Plus, it’s mandatory in most cases!
Advice and Services
The other component of protecting your employees is backing up their professional advice and services with professional liability insurance, frequently called errors and omissions (E&O). If a client feels that acting on your employee’s advice or entrusting them to run an account led to financial loss, they could sue. This puts not only your employee’s job and reputation in jeopardy, but also the financial standing of your entire business. If your workers consult, counsel or provide job-related services to clients, you need to back up their dealings with E&O. It could save everyone court costs, attorney fees and a whole lot of headache. It’s a way of demonstrating to your workforce that they’re not alone; your company stands with them and has measures in place to protect them if client relations go awry.
For example, let’s say you run an IT business. One of your specialists recommends a new program to a client. Unfortunately, upon installation, it crashes their computer system and causes them to lose revenue in the downtime. They will likely blame your specialist first as the easiest point of contact. Part of protecting your team member—and your organization by extension—is having insurance to handle this exact situation.
Physical safety is the first thing that jumps to mind when you hear “workplace safety,” and it is indeed important to bolster it with workers compensation insurance. But the other piece of the puzzle is creating a professional safety net for your employees so they can do their jobs with professional liability insurance.
Need to brush up on either type of business insurance? Visit CoverHound today for a quote.