Essential Safety Tips for New Business Owners

Are you a new business owner? Your to-do list is probably a million miles long, but it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. Whether you operate in a small garage, office space, or storefront, you should take protecting people and property seriously. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled some essential safety tips to consider:

1. Perform an initial risk assessment.

Just as you assess risk for your business idea, you should assess the potential safety risks in your space. You need to ask questions like:

  • Are there areas with a lot of equipment? Does that present an electrical hazard?
  • Are there hard-to-reach cleaning areas that may get neglected? Could dust build up and cause a potential risk?
  • Are there clear pathways for exit and entry? Are exit signs clearly marked and visible?
  • Do we have safety supplies on hand? What are we missing?
  • Do we have equipment that needs special care? If we don’t take care of this equipment properly, what hazards may occur?
  • Are there potential hazards outside of our control, like dangerous weather, that we may need to prepare for?

By asking these questions up front, you already begin to develop a sense of the changes you need to make in your space. Even if you don’t have all the answers, you can present these concerns to a professional for extra support.

2. Schedule all necessary professional inspections.

Professional inspections are an important part of keeping your space safe. Whether it’s a plumbing, fire, electrical, or any number of inspection-type, don’t put off scheduling the meeting. For example, a fire inspection can help you understand what changes you need to make to fire sprinkler systems, what fire safety supplies you need to invest in, and how you can prepare your team for any fire emergency. After initial inspections, it’s typically wise to plan on a yearly return inspection to ensure everything is operating properly.

3. Invest in adequate insurance for emergencies.

Insurance can feel like a pretty hefty cost for new business owners, but it’s not something you should forget. In an emergency, insurance can be the difference between recovering quickly or going out of business. There are a number of insurance experts available that can help you find the right coverage for your situation.

4. Create and share an emergency plan.

Emergency education should be a cornerstone of your emergency preparation. Even if you only have a few employees, everyone should know where to access emergency supplies and what to do if an emergency occurs. As you grow, plan to create emergency preparedness committees that are dedicated to both education and preparation. And when you grow to new locations, you may need to modify your plan based on the new space.

5. Purchase public access supplies.

No matter the size of your space, you need to invest in public access safety supplies. As you consider where to put your supplies, consider adding them to high-traffic areas in your space. Make sure they are in an accessible location and aren’t locked away. In an emergency, you will likely not have time to get a key to unlock a first aid kit. Keeping these supplies in an easy-to-reach location ensures that you can provide aid or minimize an emergency quickly.

Always Put Safety First

It can be hard to remember everything that’s on a new business owner’s list. But remember, safety is key! If you’re tight on budget, consider reaching out to fellow business owners to understand their approach to safety. There may also be grants available to individuals like you in need of safety supplies.

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