Pro-Active Risk Avoidance: 3 Risk Solution Strategies
If you have your own practice or are part of a group of practitioners, don’t overlook the importance of establishing risk prevention measures to protect your business. While you are primarily focused on treating your clients, building your business, and marketing your services, there is the practical side of running a practice. This includes risk prevention.
Along with the role professional liability insurance plays in your risk management plan, there are other essential preventative measures you can take to minimize your risk exposure. Among these is accident prevention. In particular, minimizing any hazards you might have which could lead to a client tripping and falling in your office (practice) space. So, what could be considered hazardous and how would you fix the problem? These suggestions are some of the more common issues:
To make your practice a safe haven:
- Remove clutter from passageways – includes furniture, electrical cords and phone cords throughout office.
- Repair loose flooring and carpeting.
- Keep loose rugs secure with double-faced tape or have slip-resistant backing — or do not have any rugs on the floor.
- Immediately clean up spilled liquids, food or drinks.
Maintain a well-lit office for easy visibility:
- Place bright lights along hallways, treatment rooms and open space
- Provide easy access to light switches. Consider illuminated switches.
- Keep stairways illuminated or install motion sensitive lighting.
- Keep several flashlights in easy-to-find places throughout office for power outages.
Have assistive devices available as needed. For example:
- Handrails for both sides of stairways
- Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
- A raised toilet seat and grab bars in bathrooms
As you work to limit risk, put yourself in your clients’ shoes and evaluate your office from their perspective. What kind of clients do you treat…do they include any seniors, children, or disabled? Do you have any clients who are recovering from an accident or illness which can be debilitating? If you can, look at your office from their viewpoint or perhaps, better yet, talk with them to learn their concerns. Their input could provide you with an understanding and suggestions you might not otherwise learn.
Since you can’t think of everything that might be a potential hazard, it could help to consult with a risk management specialist. Start with your insurance provider as many of them offer information on risk avoidance. As well, be open to any other adjustments in the future. Whether you overlook a hazard or you become aware of a new problem, keep an open mind to risk avoidance. You might want to set up a risk avoidance check list and conduct periodic checks to make sure your practice remains a safe haven for your clients.