Business interruption due to Covid-19 is a very real experience for many of our clients. As federal, state, and local governments start to relax business closure orders, business leaders should understand issues of liability.
Here are three practical liability considerations as you reopen for business:
1. Appoint a workplace coordinator to be responsible for COVID-19 issues.
The most effective way to run a business is to let your team stay focused on what you do best. Appointing a coordinator (which may be you) responsible for COVID-19 will create consistency in how your business establishes policies and practices for social distancing while allowing the majority of your team to stay focused on their job. A single point of contact will also let your business to be more responsive to customer and workforce requests related to safety practices.
2. Document your efforts.
Businesses should consider documenting their policies and procedures for reopening. This will help your team be consistent in the safety measures and can be used in the future if potential claims arise. Here are three critical areas for you to document:
1. Outline the precautions being implemented (floor markers, physical barriers, customer traffic flow, cleaning/sanitizing procedures, etc.)
2. Plan of action to be followed in case of a known exposure at the workplace
3. Establish a reporting mechanism for employees and customers who have concerns about a possible exposure at the business
3. Review and understand your existing liability exposure.
Every business has different needs and may be addressing this issue differently. If you have questions regarding work comp and liability coverages during this pandemic, please call or email Knapp Tedesco. In addition, the Iowa Legislature recently passed legislation designed to protect business as they re-open. For more information on this legislation and protections for your business, please click the following link to watch our latest update on the COVID Liability Bill: https://youtu.be/MGqVQJ6fRas
The team at Knapp Tedesco is up-to-date on liability issues and business protection legislation during this pandemic ---we can guide you in limiting your risk as you reopen.