One of the stories dominating the U.S. economy headlines is the current labor shortage impacting industries across the nation.. Although a large percentage of businesses have been able to stay afloat, many have had to do so with a much smaller workforce. In addition to putting additional pressure on business owners as they figure out how to run their daily operations with a smaller staff, it can also create new or growing liability issues for business owners. In today's Aegis blog post, we explore the liability risks businesses need to watch for, and also offer ways to mitigate those risks.
Fewer Employees to Maintain Security
One of the primary liability risks for businesses with labor shortages is that there aren't enough workers to help protect the business property, merchandise, and other assets from damage and loss. Businesses have seen an uptick in theft and vandalism over the last 18 months, as more people are emboldened to steal or destroy property because of fewer workers on site. To help mitigate the risk of damages or losses to company property, business owners can invest in video monitoring systems to help deter thieves and vandals and free up employee time to focus on their primary job functions.
More Workplace Accidents and Injuries
Additionally, companies who are short staffed also face the liability risks that come with having exhausted workers who are doing more work during longer shifts and on more consecutive days. Tired and overworked employees are far more likely to make careless mistakes or hurt themselves on the job because of fatigue. They might overlook basic safety regulations, cut corners, or have an accident involving heavy equipment which could injure themselves, coworkers, or customers. To help reduce workplace accidents and keep workers from becoming burned out, businesses can expand their hiring efforts or incentivize current workers to help recruit new hires. They should also make sure they have adequate Workers Compensation coverage in place to protect the company and workers in the event of an injury or accident.
Finally, liability risks can increase for companies that are understaffed because their delays or production slowdowns can lead to unhappy and even disgruntled customers. Through no fault of their own, restaurant staff, retail workers, and other businesses that deal directly with customers have seen an increase in loud outbursts and even violent altercations because of impatient and unhappy customers. Businesses can help reduce potential issues by communicating regularly with customers through email lists and social media to explain their current staffing issues and set expectations ahead of time so customers know what to anticipate if there are shortages or other changes regarding hours of operations or menu changes. An informed customer can then make the choice to visit at a less busy time or get their purchases to-go.
Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as recovery from the pandemic continues, but having increased liability risks shouldn't be one of them. Aegis Insurance & Financial Services is committed to helping businesses protect their property, assets, employees, and long-term business future so business owners can focus on making their business grow and thrive. For more information about our full range of Commercial Insurance policies and how they can be tailored to meet your unique industry needs, contact Aegis at 713-850-7622 or fill out our online form to request a free quote!