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Why Use a Risk Management Consultant?

Bookmark and Share You face risks every day in real life and must decide if you'll lock your house doors or buckle your seat belt. Your small business faces risks, too. Answer the question why use a risk management consultant as you successfully navigate your business risks.

Get Customized, Objective Advice

While all small businesses face risks, each business is different. A risk management consultant considers every aspect of your specific business from operations to technology without bias. They then create a customized, objective plan for your unique needs. 

Identify Risks and Solutions

As a small business owner, you focus on producing widgets or baking cakes. You may not know all the risks you face. A risk management consultant will identify your risk and the solutions that address those risks.

Develop an Accurate Safety Plan

Safety must be one of your top priorities and is achieved when you follow an accurate safety plan. Your risk management consultant helps you develop a plan that fits your needs, and they will evaluate your plan regularly to ensure ongoing safety.  

Evaluate Compliance

Your business must comply with a variety of federal, state and local policies or you could jeopardize your employees' safety and face steep fines. Utilize your risk management consultant to ensure your company's compliance. 

Prepare for Inspections

Depending on your industry, you may undergo regular facility or quality control inspections. Be prepared to ace those inspections with assistance from your risk management consultant.  

Improve Performance

Your small business may have a successful history, but you must plan for a successful future, too. Hire a risk management consultant to ensure your business continues on a course toward future success.

Navigate Change

The business world frequently changes, and you must change with it. Rely on your risk management consultant to stay updated about changes in consumer trends and technology. With their help, you stay current, trendy and successful.

Maximize Your Time

As a small business owner, you are responsible for every aspect of your company. You only have 24 hours in a day, though. A risk management consultant takes on this responsibility and frees you for other tasks.

Receive Ongoing Support

A risk management consultant helps you identify, handle and address risks now. However, this relationship also provides ongoing support as you continue to maintain compliance.

Why use a risk management consultant? Your small business gains nine key benefits that help you achieve success now and into the future.

Proving a Safer Work Environment

Bookmark and Share One of the best ways to protect workers in a particular job is to conduct a job hazard analysis. This simple but powerful technique identifies hazards before they occur, focusing on the relationships among the worker, task, tools and equipment, and the work environment. Once you’ve identified job hazards, you can eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

This is a relatively easy task, although it takes time to analyze hazards for each job category and each step in the job. You also have to do some digging into past performance.

Priority should go to jobs with the highest injury or illness rates; the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness through simple human error, complex enough to require written instructions; or that have undergone changes in processes and procedures.

Job hazard analysis involves these steps:

Involve employees. Their unique understanding of the job can be invaluable for finding hazards. Involving employees will help minimize oversights, ensure quality analysis, and get workers to buy in to the solutions because they’ll share ownership in their safety and health program.

Review accident history. This includes the workplace record of accidents and occupational illnesses, accident damage that required repair or replacement, and any near misses. These are indicators that existing hazard controls might be inadequate and need more scrutiny.

Conduct a preliminary job review. Discuss with employees the hazards they know exist in their work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control these perils. Of course, if any hazards pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.

List, rank, and set priorities. List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. Make these jobs your first priority for analysis.

Outline steps or tasks. Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step (it might help to photograph or video the worker performing the job – these visual records can provide handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work). Record enough information to describe each job action without getting bogged down in details.

Avoid making the breakdown so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it fails to include basic steps. Review the job steps with the employee to make sure you haven’t omitted anything. Stress that you’re evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance.

Identify hazards. List the hazards you identified in Step 3 (as well as any additional hazards you discovered when observing the employee) with each step or task involved in the job.

Maintain OSHA Compliance

Bookmark and Share OSHA compliance is essential for your small business. By law, you're required to provide a safe workplace for your employees, and you want to ensure everyone on your team stays safe. Maintaining OSHA compliance can be complicated, though. Follow eight tips and take the guesswork out of OSHA compliance in your small business's daily operations.

Understand OSHA Regulations

While OSHA is operated by the federal government, states also establish OSHA regulations. You're responsible to follow both the federal and state guidelines. In cases, where the federal and state guidelines differ, follow the stricter guidelines to ensure your business is compliant.    

Hire a Safety Officer

Safety is the job of every employee, but your designated safety officer is the go-to person for safety plans, training and compliance. Hire a safety officer or designate an employee to take on this responsibility for your business.

A safety officer's duties will include:

  • Stay updated on OSHA regulations.
  • Create an employee safety plan.
  • Train employees on OSHA standards.
  • Identify and correct hazards.
  • Assess compliance.
  • Oversee the safety committee.
Train Employees

All of your employees, from officer personnel to warehouse workers, must know and follow OSHA guidelines. Take three steps as you ensure your employees maintain OSHA compliance every day.

  • Train new employees on required safety protocols.
  • Provide regular safety trainings for all employees.
  • Implement an open door policy where employees can ask questions or report hazards without repercussions.
Encourage a Safety Culture

Every employee should know that they're an important part of your small business's safety culture. They should see that you prioritize safety, and they should know that their contribution to safety is valued. Make safety part of your everyday conversations and reward safe behavior with incentives as you encourage a safety culture.

Update Equipment

Fire extinguishers expire, non-slip flooring wears out and safety signs can fade. Update all your safety equipment regularly to ensure it operates properly.

Also, update equipment and your building as needed. Worn floors, broken door handles and loose stair railings are all safety hazards that must be fixed. 

Perform Safety Drills

Every employee should know how to exit the building if a fire starts and what to do during a chemical spill. Perform regular safety drills as you help everyone stay safe.

Investigate Safety Violations

When you see or hear about potential safety violations, investigate immediately. Then make necessary changes as you ensure OSHA compliance.

Take OSHA Compliance Seriously

In the midst of daily operations, it's easy to overlook safety. However, you must take OSHA compliance seriously. Investigate every complaint, know the law and encourage safe operations as you take compliance seriously.

With these eight tips, your small business maintains OSHA compliance. Your employees stay safe and you follow the law, too.

Spotting Fake Accident Scams

Bookmark and Share Many think of fraud as a non-violent crime. In reality, vehicle insurance scams, including staged traffic accidents, are far from non-violent. Aside from costing honest consumers hundreds to thousands of dollars in added insurance premiums, this steadily growing form of fraud has resulted in countless injuries and deaths to innocent victims of the scams. In fact, data from the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) shows that staged traffic accidents have rapidly become a leading source of insurance fraud nationwide.

How Does It Work?

These criminally staged collisions frequently involve several suspects driving a car. The victim is the driver of another vehicle that's being targeted by the suspects staging the collision for their own financial gain. The suspects will most often use one of two techniques:

Swoop and Squat.

Two or more suspects drive two different vehicles. They target an unsuspecting vehicle, most often an older model that only contains one victim. This is done so that there will not be any witnesses to the collision. The one or two suspects in the squat vehicle position their car in front of the vehicle driven by the victim. They slow to create a smaller space gap between themselves and their victim.

Then, the swoop vehicle suddenly changes lanes to cut in front of the squat, thereby causing the squat vehicle to throw on breaks and stop. As a result, the innocent victim rear-ends the squat. Meanwhile, the swoop vehicle is long gone and the squat vehicle is claiming that an unknown vehicle cut them off and forced them to brake.

The Drive Down or Wave On.

In this version, the suspect(s) are stopped at the entrance to a parking lot or an intersection. They wave on or yield the right-of-way to the victim. When the victim proceeds, the suspect intentionally accelerates to collide with the victim.

What Can Drivers Do to Reduce the Risk of Being a Victim?

Stay aware of your surroundings, paying close attention to what the vehicles several in front, behind, and beside you are doing and maintaining sufficient room between you and all other vehicles. Use caution when making a turn in front of another vehicle, even if they yield the right-of-way.

Since suspects tend to look for innocent drivers that accidentally cross the center line and then sideswipe them, pay close attention to staying within the lines of a lane.

After any accident, count the number of passengers and get their personal information. You might find that more people are listed on the insurance claim than were actually in the accident.

Avoid driving when you're stressed; preoccupied with a cell phone, map, or food; or lethargic. All of these lessen the care with which you drive and your concentration abilities, thereby increasing your vulnerability.

Have a camera in your vehicle to take photos of the scene, license plates, and the occupants of the vehicle with which you have an accident.

Always call the police and get a copy of the police report. If the damage to the other car is minor, then ask the officer to specify this on the report, as this will make it more difficult for the other party to create more damage for a larger claim.

Alert the authorities if you feel the accident was staged.

In closing, these staged traffic accidents often have criminal elements that reach far beyond just the suspected drivers. It's often a criminal collaboration among unscrupulous doctors and attorneys who willingly and knowingly assist in the fraudulent insurance claim process.