Does my Atlanta restaurant or bar need liquor liability insurance?

Liquor liability insurance can protect your restaurant from the risks associated with serving alcohol.

If your Atlanta dining establishment serves alcohol, you’re open to a number of risks. What if a fight breaks out because one of your patrons is intoxicated? What if one of your patrons leaves and gets into a car accident that injures the other driver – and what if your patron is found to be legally drunk? Your business could be found responsible on the basis of being the place that served the alcohol. But that’s where liquor liability insurance comes in. We’ll explain how liquor insurance can protect your business and what to look for in a policy.

First of all: What is liquor liability?

Okay, before we go any further, let’s define what liquor liability insurance is protecting you from. Liquor liability is the legal responsibility of a business that serves or sells alcohol for the actions of patrons who drank said alcohol at their establishment. That means that you could be found responsible if one of your patrons causes someone bodily harm or causes property damage. So, restaurant safety should include training for employees about serving alcohol.

Why do I need liquor liability coverage?

General liability insurance may provide host liquor liability for occasional instances where alcohol is served (like as a company holiday party.) However, this host liquor liability is not enough for a business that sells and serve alcohol. As we mentioned above, alcohol comes with many risks, and you need to make sure that you’re covered for any mishaps that happen because of serving it.

What does liquor liability insurance cover?

The short answer to what liquor liability insurance covers is that it can protect you if you get sued because of the actions of an intoxicated patron. For example, some things that may be covered by liquor liability insurance covers are…

1. Unruly customers. Alcohol can make people unpredictable, and it can even make them violent. You can include assault and battery with your policy (we’ll explain more about this in a moment.)

2. Legal fees and court defense costs. If you’re on the receiving end of an alcohol-related claim or lawsuit, the legal fees and damages that you’re obligated to pay can become astronomical. But liquor liability may help you cover these expenses.

3. Your employees. You want to trust your employees to serve alcohol responsibly and follow any protocols you have set up – and not to drink on the job – but your policy can provide an added protection for your employees.

How to choose the liquor liability policy that’s right for you:

It’s extremely important to note that not all liquor liability policies are the same. Some may exclude certain scenarios, meaning you would need to add coverage to be sure that your business is fully protected. Be sure to check for the following in the policy you’re considering:

  • Assault and battery coverage: Many policies actually exclude assault and battery, so make sure that you add this coverage to close the gap. You can usually extend assault and battery coverage to include specific situations, such as shootings, stabbings, or sexual assault.
  • Defense costs: You need to make sure that your policy will cover defense costs outside of the policy’s limit. Legal fees can add up and they can eat up your policy’s limit quickly, leaving no money to cover damages you have to pay. Basically, you need to check if the cost of defending yourself against a claim is covered in addition to the limit on your policy.
  • Coverage for employees: Earlier we mentioned that your employees can be a risk to your business if they don’t serve alcohol responsibly or if they drink on the job. It’s a good idea to make sure that your policy accounts for your employees and covers them just like it does your patrons.
  • Coverage for claims of mental damages: If a third-party is involved in an alcohol-related incident caused by one of your patrons, they could sue for stress, anguish, or psychological injury even if they were not physically injured. Check and see if the policy you’re considering covers these sorts of claims.

A note about serving alcohol to minors:

The drinking age in the United States is 21. There’s no arguing with it. If you have a liquor liability claim that arises from serving alcohol to a minor, that claim will not be covered. It’s crucial that all of your employees know to ID people and how to identify fake IDs. Everyone needs to understand that serving alcohol to minors will not be tolerated at your establishment.

So that’s why liquor liability insurance is so important for restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol. Serving alcohol opens your business to a number of risks, which is why having the right insurance is key to your business. To find out what kind of insurance you need for your business, you can fill out our online form or give us a call today. We would be happy to discuss your business and your insurance with you. We can also help you shop for the best rate for your insurance and get business insurance quotes for you.

Protect your business from four different types of theft

You business faces several different types of theft.

You business faces several different types of theft.Sometimes people really want things that don’t belong to them, and your business faces numerous types of theft. There are various threats out there, but by being aware of them and taking steps to lower your risk you can protect your business from theft. We’ll go over four types of crime that businesses face and offer tips to help you prevent them.

Protect your business from burglary:

Burglars are extremely crafty, which means that you need to be craftier to foil their efforts. Protecting your business from burglary takes some planning, but it’s important to do – burglary can be disastrous for business. To keep unwanted thieves out of your building, check out the following tips.

  1. Make sure you have plenty of interior and exterior lighting, especially around any entrances.
  2. Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. By doing so, you eliminate hiding places for any would-be burglars.
  3. Have a monitored alarm system installed, along with security cameras. A commercial security system can be a deterrent to thieves.
  4. Secure your windows with shatter-proof glass and strong window locks.
  5. Have strong doors installed, preferably ones made of steel.
  6. Get a fence around the perimeter of your business.
  7. Have a safe for valuables. The safe should be hidden and secured to the ground.

Protect your business from robbery:

The concept of robbery is terrifying. It’s something that every business owner hopes fervently won’t happen to their business and their employees. To try to keep everyone – employees and customers both – safe in the event of a robbery, try the following tips:

  1. Spend time training your employees about robbery and what to do if the business is ever robbed. Stress that their lives are the important thing, not the money.
  2. Get in touch with your local police department for help with creating a training plan. They will most likely have some good advice for you and can give suggestions for training and robbery prevention.
  3. Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the register. You can post signs that state clearly that the register is emptied regularly to discourage robbers.
  4. Have a safe that’s hidden.

Protect your business from employee theft:

Unfortunately, employee theft is more common than we might like to think. Even small businesses are at-risk for employee theft – it’s not just large corporations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the possibility and protect your business from employee theft. Try the following tips:

  1. Have video cameras installed.
  2. Keep an eye on your finances and bookkeeping.
  3. Do inventory frequently.
  4. Create a return and void procedure.
  5. Foster positive relationships with your employees and encourage a happy, pleasant workplace atmosphere.

Protect your business from cybercrime and identity theft:

Data breaches and cyber risks are becoming more and more serious for businesses. If a hacker steals the personal identifying information of your clients, your business could be in big trouble. Check out the following tips to prevent a data breach and reduce your business’s cyber risks:

  1. Have a firewall on your computers to repel unwanted visitors.
  2. Get anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  3. Educate your employees about cybersecurity.
  4. Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.
  5. Protect computers with strong passwords.
  6. Consider getting cyber liability insurance.

Burglary, robbery, employee theft, and identity theft are very real possibilities for businesses. We hope that you never have to deal with any of these devastating losses, but nonetheless, it’s important for you to be prepared and to take steps to protect your business from these various forms of theft.

Another way to protect your business is with business insurance. It’s important to have enough insurance to fully protect your business from all of your risks, and our team of commercial insurance agents can help you identify your risks and get the coverage you need to protect your company from them. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our quick online form or give us a call today.

6 ways to lower your workers’ compensation premiums in Atlanta

Improving safety can help you save money on your workers' comp insurance.

Improving safety can help you save money on your workers' comp insurance.

As an employer, you might absolutely dread one of your employees getting hurt. You care about your employees, of course, and you don’t want to see them in pain because of a workplace accident (and, well, there’s an awful lot of paperwork involved with workplace accidents.) Ensuring that the employee gets the medical attention and care they need is the most important thing, so as a business owner it’s important for you to have enough workers’ compensation insurance to provide for your employees if they get hurt – workers’ comp is probably one of the most important types of business insurance. But there are things you can do to control and manage the cost of the workers’ compensation insurance you need. Below are six tips that explain how you can lower your workers’ comp premium.

1. Place an emphasis on safety.

The best way to avoid workers’ comp claims (and the potential rise in your insurance rates that follows) is to prevent the accident in the first place. And that means taking the time to properly train your employees in safety protocol – for example, how to stay safe while working with ladders. Every member of your team should get the training they need to stay safe on the job. It’s kind of hard to avoid accidents and danger if you don’t know where to look for it, which is where training comes in. Anyways, it’s important to talk about safety, too, to keep it fresh in everyone’s mind. Safety is a team effort.

Here are some basic safety tips you can consider for your business.

  • Identify hazards around your workplace and take steps to minimize them.
  • Choose a flooring material that won’t make everyone slip and fall – you need a floor surface that has good traction.
  • Reduce distractions on the job.
  • Implement ergonomics at your workplace. Ergonomics means tailoring a workspace to the jobs that are performed there to reduce the chances of strain and injury. There are even benefits of implementing ergonomics at an office.
  • Teach and emphasize proper lifting to help employees avoid back problems – lift with your legs, not with your back, everyone.

2. Create a return to work program.

A return to work or modified duty program allows employees who have been hurt to come back to work. They will be assigned tasks that have been customized for their physical capabilities while they’re recovering from their injury. Keep in mind that it’s essential to make sure that the employee is getting the medical attention and support they need.

Now, having a return to work program might make it seem like you’re just trying to exploit an injured person. That’s not the case. The goal of a return to work program is to support the employee as they come back into the workplace and resume their job duties. So, when you’re creating the new tasks that are tweaked for your employee, make sure that the work is meaningful and genuinely contributes to your business so that the employee doesn’t feel punished or unnecessary. It’s important that they know how much you value them.

Understanding your mod can help you figure out how your workers' comp premium is calculated.

3. Understand your workers’ comp mod.

Your company’s mod, or modification factor, is a method of figuring out how “risky” your company is by comparing it to other businesses in your industry. It gives insurance carriers a way of seeing whether your workers’ comp losses are better, on par, or worse than what they’d expect. (The size of your company, unexpected big losses, the frequency of losses, and the severity of your losses are all ways in which your business is compared to others.) The data used by most states for calculating mods is collected by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Okay. The significance of your mod is that it can either make your workers’ comp premium higher or lower. If your mod is above 1.0, you have a debit, which means that your losses are worse than what they should be. If your mod is below 1.0, you have a credit, which means your losses are better than what is expected. A debit means that you could have higher workers’ comp premiums while a credit means that you could get lower workers’ comp premiums.

4. Investigate accidents and near-misses.

It’s really important that you put on your detective hat and conduct an investigation of any accident or near-miss that happens at your workplace. Talk to witnesses and get their accounts of what happened. Check out the area where the accident occurred and observe what could have caused it. Try to get to the bottom of what happened and keep a detailed and organized record of your discoveries. The idea is to find out why the accident happened so that you can prevent another accident from happening in the future. Knowing why it happened will help you take steps to avoid another injury or accident.

Pro tip: Try to conduct your investigation within 48 hours of the incident. The witnesses will have a clearer memory of what happened, and besides, it’s best to take action immediately to prevent future accidents.

5. Report injuries that need to be reported promptly.

If the accident is a reportable one, you need to file that report as quickly as you can. It’s best to do this ASAP to help the investigation and claim move forward as smoothly as possible. The Department of Labor requires you to file several reports – for instance, the First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease must be completed according to your state’s workers’ comp laws. Find out what paperwork and reports you have to fill out and go to town.

Pro tip: Make sure your employees know that they need to inform their supervisor (or you) about any workplace accident or injury as soon as they can.

6. Check your payroll.

Make sure that all of your job classifications and your payroll are correct. All of this needs to be accurate so that you’ve got the right amount of workers’ comp insurance.

Your employee is the priority when it comes to your workers’ comp insurance. Taking steps to improve safety at your workplace is vital so that you can prevent accidents and injuries. A bonus of emphasizing safety is that you can lower your workers’ comp premiums. So, the simple truth is that preventing workers’ comp claims is really in everyone’s best interest.

Another way to save money on business insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Our team of insurance experts can help you with that. We can get multiple quotes for workers’ comp insurance so that you can compare coverages and prices. All you have to do to get workers’ comp quotes is fill out our form or give us a call today.

What is inland marine insurance and does my Atlanta business need it?

Inland marine insurance can be helpful for businesses to cover gaps in their insurance.

Words can be a lot of fun, especially when they say something that seems to be contradictory but really isn’t (a.k.a. an oxymoron.) Business insurance has its fair share of funny words, and one of those phrases is “inland marine insurance.” How can marine insurance be inland? You may think that the name doesn’t make a terrible lot of sense, and you would be correct. However, we can explain what inland marine insurance is and even why it has such a funny name.

What is inland marine insurance?

Contrary to what the name suggests, inland marine insurance does not have anything to do with boats. Basically, inland marine is a way for businesses to fill gaps in their insurance coverage. Certain parts of your business might not be covered anywhere within your other insurance policies, which is why you may want to think about inland marine when you’re buying business insurance. We’ll explain what inland marine insurance covers in a moment.

Where does the funny name come from?

Okay, here’s the deal with the name. Once upon a time, shipping used to use boats – hence why it’s caused shipping. Marine insurance was a way to protect ocean shipping businesses from loss. But then “shipping” became less dependent on the ocean because the cargo was loaded onto barges to be transported inland. And, since the cargo still needed coverage, a new form of insurance evolved – complete with an oxymoronic name.

But that’s not where the word fun ends. Within inland marine insurance, there’s something called a floater that protects cargo while it’s being moved from place to place. Guess where the name came from? In the days where shipping meant ships, the cargo that “floater” policies protected was actually, literally floating. Nowadays, the property that’s protected by a floater policy doesn’t have to be floating or levitating. Though that would be pretty neat.

What kind of business uses inland marine insurance?

Many types of business have inland marine insurance so that they can cover the gaps in their business insurance. There are different forms of inland marine insurance, such as bailee insurance (which is not just for people named Bailey) and contractor’s equipment.

We’ll give a few examples. If your business ever has your clients’ property in your care, you may need bailee insurance – for example, a computer repair shop where clients drop off their devices. If you ever transport property or equipment, you might need a floater policy. If you install products in your clients’ homes, you might consider installation coverage.

What we’re trying to say is that a variety of businesses, like construction business, technology or communications businesses, and transportation businesses, can benefit from inland marine insurance. Here’s a breakdown of different forms of inland marine by industry:

  • Construction
    • Builder’s risk: Protects buildings that are being constructed or repaired.
    • Contractor’s equipment: Protects tools and equipment used in construction that aren’t covered under builder’s risk.
    • Installation: Covers machinery and equipment while it’s being moved and during installation.
    • Rigger’s liability: Coverage for when you’re acting as a rigger for someone else’s property.
  • Technology and communication
    • Cable television: Covers property that is needed for cable television service.
    • Electronic equipment: Insures certain pieces of electronic equipment.
    • Medical imaging equipment: Covers medical equipment that is mobile and used by hospitals, clinics, etc.
    • Physicians and surgeons: Covers medical, surgical, and dental equipment used by those professions.
    • Telecommunications equipment: Protects phones, fax machines, audio and visual equipment for video conferencing, and computers.
  • Transportation
    • Commercial transport: Coverage for truckers and warehouses that protects goods while they’re being transported.
    • Legal liability: Covers the expenses you’re legally obligated to pay for a covered loss if you damage someone else’s property.
    • Motor truck cargo: Protects trucking businesses against losses to their cargo and their property while it’s in transit.
    • Railroad rolling stock: Protects rolling stock that’s owned/leased by railroad or other companies.
    • Tank storage: Protects tanks and pipes while they are in the policyholder’s care, custody, and control.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Bailee insurance: Covers your clients’ belongings while they’re in your care, custody, and control.
    • Armored cars: Protects against losses related to armored trucks.
    • Furrier’s block: Protects items that include fur while they’re in the care of department stores, furriers, retailers, etc.
    • Jewelers block: Covers jewels and gems used in the policyholder’s business.
    • Floaters: Covers movable property.

So, to conclude, inland marine insurance doesn’t relate to boats at all. Yes, the name is confusing. Anyways, inland marine insurance is meant to help businesses close the gaps in their insurance by providing coverage for areas that don’t have any. There are many kinds of inland marine insurance out there, so you might want to think about inland marine when considering what type of insurance your business needs.

If you want to save money on your business insurance, we can help. We can shop for the best rates for your commercial insurance so that you can be assured that you’re getting the coverage you need at the best possible price. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

What is commercial umbrella insurance and do I need it for my Atlanta business?

Umbrella insurance adds liability coverage for your business.

Umbrella insurance adds liability coverage for your business.Thinking about worst-case scenarios can be frightening and unnerving. When your business is cruising along and doing well, everything is great. But sometimes things happen and disaster can strike. Of course, you have business insurance to protect your company, but what if a claim comes along and blows your insurance limits right out of the water? Being stuck in a situation in which you don’t have enough insurance would not be good. However, there is a type of coverage that can supplement your current levels of insurance and even provide coverage in areas you don’t have it. It’s called umbrella insurance, and no, it’s not insurance for umbrellas (the name is a bit misleading.) We’ll explain what umbrella insurance is, how it can protect your business, and why you shouldn’t overlook it when you’re buying business insurance.

What is commercial umbrella insurance?

Commercial umbrella insurance, or excess liability insurance, can protect your business from gaps in your coverage and from expensive lawsuits. Basically, businesses use umbrella insurance to expand and back up the coverage they have with their existing policies. It’s a way to add extra coverage to your insurance.

What does commercial umbrella insurance do?

There are a few ways in which umbrella insurance can help your business. Umbrella insurance…

1. Provides extra coverage if you have a claim that goes above the limits of your existing policy.

Umbrella insurance is, to put it simply, extra coverage that sits on top of your underlying insurance policy. It can help protect your business from huge lawsuits that could be financially devastating to a business by adding coverage to your policy.

It’s easiest to illustrate with an example.

Let’s say that you have a whopper of a general liability claim – like a $4 million claim. It’s not good. Your business, of course, has general liability insurance, but your policy is only for $1 million. So, to do some quick math, that means there’s still $3 million to be accounted for. Now, let’s say that your business has a $5 million umbrella policy. What would happen is that your general liability insurance would pay its $1 million and your umbrella would then pay the remaining $3 million. So, there you go – an example of how umbrella insurance can help you out of a tight spot.

2. Can give you coverage in areas where you don’t have coverage.

If you have a claim in an area that’s not covered by your underlying policies, umbrella insurance can provide you with the coverage you need. But if you’re using your umbrella insurance in this way, you will have to pay a self-insured retention (or SIR) which is similar to a deductible. Basically, it means that you’re responsible for paying a portion of the claim. SIRs usually start at around $10,000.

3. Can cover expenses if you’ve hit the aggregate limit on your policy.

If your commercial general liability policy has an aggregate limit of $2 million, that means that the maximum amount your policy will pay out is $2 million. Let’s say you only have $1 million left on the policy. That seems like a lot of money…until you get a $1.4 million claim. So, where’s the $400,000 going to come from? If you have umbrella insurance, it would swoop in and save the day.

Umbrella insurance and lawsuits.

Our society has become more and more likely to launch lawsuits, can come with some hefty financial judgments or damages. Even if your business has done absolutely nothing wrong, it’s expensive to defend yourself against the claim. Legal defense fees can be super expensive and potentially devastating to a business. And what if your business is found liable? You could be facing court-ordered damages or a settlement. And that’s an entirely new set of expenses. But that’s where umbrella can help you by covering those legal fees and other financial obligations.

Umbrella insurance is a way for business owners to get an additional measure of protection for their companies. It gives extra liability coverage that sits on top of your existing insurance policies. Yes, the odds of a huge, catastrophic claim happening to your business might be low, but it’s still important to anticipate and prepare for the worst. You never know what’s going to happen (unless you can see the future, which would be great), and umbrella insurance can protect your business.

If you’d like to save money on your business insurance, we can help. Our team of agents can help you shop for the best possible rate for your insurance – and we’ll do our best to make insurance easy. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Avoid property insurance claims at your Atlanta business with fire safety

It's important to be conscious of fire safety at your business.

Fire safety is important for any business.If you’re a business owner, one of your worst nightmares might be a fire striking and burning down your premises. Many small businesses never reopen after a disaster like a fire because the expenses are so high. You have to pay to have the premises cleaned up and rebuilt, plus there’s the lost income you face from the time that you were closed. To avoid a fire-related property insurance claim, check out these fire prevention and preparation tips – they’ll also help you keep your employees safe.

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What factors affect the cost of business insurance in Atlanta?

The cost of business insurance depends on a variety of factors.

The cost of business insurance depends on a variety of factors.

When you’re buying Atlanta business insurance, there are a lot of different factors to consider. Insurance will help you protect your business, and it’s a big part of your risk management plan – your keep-the-doors-open-and-don’t-go-bankrupt plan. But the question in your mind might be how much does business insurance cost. The answer to that is a bit complicated. One business is not the same as the other, so each business will pay a different rate for their insurance. We’ll explain the factors that affect the cost of business insurance.

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What is cyber insurance and do I need it for my Atlanta business?

If your business relies on computers, you may want to consider cyber insurance.Technology is everywhere, and small businesses aren’t immune from its far-reaching effects. Businesses are relying on computers and storing more data (including customer information) online, so the risk associated with technology has gone up. Hackers can break into a computer system and cause a business to come to a screeching halt through a data breach, a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack that locks employees and customers out of your website, and cyber extortion (where a hacker takes your computer files hostage electronically and demands ransom.) Commercial general liability insurance will most likely not help you if you have a cyber issue, but cyber liability insurance was designed for the purpose of covering technology-based risks. Let’s explain how cyber liability insurance can protect your business.

What is cyber liability insurance?

To put it in a nutshell, cyber insurance can cover technology-related risks that other types of business insurance don’t. There are quite a few damaging losses related to computers and technology that could befall your business – more than “quite a few” to tell the truth. Cyber insurance can help you cover business interruption expenses that occur due to a hack and the damages that you’re legally obligated to pay. Like we said, cyber insurance is specifically tailored to tech-related risks your business faces. In today’s day and age, managing your business’s cyber liability risks has become increasingly important.

What does cyber insurance generally cover?

Your computers are surprisingly fragile. They’re not as secure and impenetrable as they seem, which is why cyber insurance can help you out of the following pickles:

Business interruptions:

Cyber can help your business cover costs associated with being in temporary shutdown mode due to a hostile hacker or another cyber incident. It can cover…

  • Lost income and profits you would have earned
  • Operating expenses (Yeah, still have to pay that utility bill even though your business isn’t doing business)
  • Costs of rented or leased equipment

Data breaches:

If a hacker steals your customers’ personal information, you may have a legal nightmare on your hands. You’d be responsible for notifying the affected customers, which isn’t inexpensive (not to mention that they’re probably not going to be too happy about the situation.) Then there are the costs of security upgrades and fixes, possibly offering identity theft monitoring to those impacted, and the potential for legal action. Cyber liability insurance would help you with those expenses.

Third-party system damage:

What if one of your employees unintentionally sends an email or file that’s infected with a virus to a customer or vendor and crashes their system? You could be on the book, and you could owe them damages as your legal responsibility. Or what if a software you offer crashes and causes a client to lose income? You could be held responsible. But cyber could help you.

Loss of data or code due to a natural disaster or malicious activity:

A natural disaster, fire, or vandal could cause you to lose valuable code or data. The physical damage to your computer equipment or hardware might be covered under your property insurance or another policy, but not that all-important data or code.

Cyber extortion:

It sounds almost too out-there to be true, but cyber extortion happens – and it’s fast becoming a favorite of cybercriminals. Cyber extortion is when a hacker takes over your computer system and essentially takes your files hostage, either by encrypting them or blocking your access to the computer. They’ll demand payment to return your files. Talk about taking the direct approach. Anyways, cyber extortion is not only exceedingly rude, it can lead to a host of expenses for your business. Those include loss of revenue and rebuilding if the hacker messed with the files or website before you got them back. But cyber liability can swoop in and save the day.

It would be wonderful if our computers were as invincible as we wish they were, but the reality is that hackers are experts at finding weak spots in their defenses. From there, they attack ruthlessly. Before you know it, you have a cyber catastrophe on your hands – a catastrophe that may not be covered under your other business insurance policies. When considering what kind of insurance your business needs, you may want to consider cyber liability if your business relies on computers to store or transmit data and information.

Your Atlanta Insurance agent can help you find the cyber insurance and business insurance you need to protect your business. Every business needs a unique insurance plan, and we can help you create one that’s customized for you. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Save money on Atlanta restaurant insurance with these restaurant safety tips

Restaurant safety can help you get lower insurance rates.

Restaurants are usually a frenzy of go, go, go as waiters take orders, cooks rush around preparing meals, and customers ask for extra pickles. With the high-pressure environment and near-constant multitasking, safety may sometimes take a backseat. But it’s essential to make safety a priority at your Atlanta restaurant – doing so can help you save money on your restaurant insurance (general liability, workers’ comp, and the like.) Safety helps everyone, employees and customers alike, avoid accidents. So here are our restaurant safety tips.

How safe is the food preparation area/kitchen of your restaurant?

The first area we’ll examine is the kitchen itself. Boiling water, sharp knives, slick floors…the kitchen is one rogue tomato slice falling on the floor away from a workers’ comp claim. Check out these tips – your kitchen staff will thank you.

  • Plan out the food prep areas so no one has to strain or overreach.
  • Train your staff on how to chop and dice so they can avoid stress injuries from the repetitive motion.
  • Provide uniforms, hairnets, and gloves as well as the right utensils to get the job done.
  • Make sure employers are wearing and using the approved tools and clothes.
  • Provide chairs, footrests, or stools if needed so your staff can avoid standing for too long.

Are your employees lifting safely?

You probably wouldn’t wish a thrown-out back on your worst enemy. Lifting light or heavy loads could cause strain or injury if not done properly. Arms, legs, back – there are a lot of things that could hurt. Try implementing these lifting rules at your restaurant so everyone knows how to lift loads properly.

  • Lift with your legs, not your back. That means you have to squat to lift the load.
  • Bring heavy loads close to the body. This helps with balance and reduces the chance of muscle strain.
  • Use tilt containers or get help when transporting fluids or heavy items.
  • Have your supervisors lead by example.

Will your employees (or guests) slip, trip, or fall?

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of general liability claims. Guests could hold you legally liable if they get hurt on your premises. And if an employee gets hurt on the job, you’d have to file a workers’ comp claim. Check out these tips for preventing a slip, trip, or fall on your premises.

  • Make sure your staff is trained to mop up and clean spills ASAP.
  • Keep all walkways, the kitchen floor, supply room, and freezer clear of things that people could trip over. Provide clear paths and move obstacles out of the way – this is a restaurant, not an Olympic hurdling competition.
  • Enforce proper ladder safety and train your staff to use ladders safely.
  • Have your employees wear slip-resistant shoes.
  • Sweep and mop the kitchen floor each night.

Are you preventing cuts, burns, and lacerations?

The last thing you want is to hear a cry of pain coming from your kitchen. You don’t want to see any of your employees get hurt, so take these steps to prevent cuts and burns.

  • Teach safe cutting, slicing, and dicing and spend ample time training new employees.
  • Have refresher training for employees who have worked with you for a while.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to use the appliances safely.
  • Provide hand protection for cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping food.
  • Don’t allow employees to wear loose clothing or long jewelry.
  • Set up a protocol for using hot cooking appliances, grease, and water.

Do you prevent kitchen fires at your restaurant?

Unfortunately, many restaurants have met their doom because of kitchen fires. There are many ways that a kitchen fire can start and get out of control. Since flames are probably not the decorative look you have in mind for your restaurant, use these tips to lessen the chances of fire.

  • Keep work areas clean and tidy.
  • Have functional fire extinguishers on-hand and readily accessible.
  • Train employees on how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Have a no-smoking policy and enforce it.
  • Create a fire-escape plan.
  • Practice said fire-escape plan by holding fire drills (they’re not just for school children.)
  • Teach all workers how to raise the alarm and call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Regularly check and maintain all fire equipment (sprinklers, etc.)

Your restaurant is supposed to be a place for relaxing and enjoying delicious food. Yes, your employees might run around like crazy to make that happen for your guests, but don’t forget to make safety part of your day. It might be a lot to remember as everyone’s cooking, waiting tables, and sidestepping each other, but if you implement a little bit of teamwork and look out for each other, you can make safety a matter of routine and get lower restaurant insurance rates.

Looking to get a restaurant insurance quote in Atlanta? We can help with that. We’ll help you shop for the best possible rate for your restaurant insurance. All you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

How to prevent general liability tripping, slipping, and falling claims at your Atlanta business

Prevent general liability claims by minimizing the chances of tripping or slipping at your business.

Prevent general liability claims by minimizing the chances of tripping or slipping at your business.

As a business owner, you assume a lot of risks. Whenever there are people on your premises – whether they’re employees or customers – there’s the chance that someone could slip and fall. If someone does slip, trip, or fall and get hurt on your property, your business could be found responsible and you could face a hefty lawsuit. Lawsuits are often financially draining for businesses. Sure, you have general liability insurance to protect you from slipping and tripping lawsuits, but the best thing is to prevent slips and falls before they happen. We’ve got some tips to help you slip-proof and trip-proof your business so that you can avoid general liability claims.

1. Train your employees.

Slips and falls can happen in a split second. If someone gets hurt, your employees might get a bit panicked, so it’s important that they know what to do so they can take charge of the situation calmly and efficiently. And it’s important that your employees know what could become a slip or trip hazard.

Your training should cover:

  • Recognizing slip, trip, and fall hazards
  • Cleaning up spills promptly
  • Keeping the workplace tidy and free of clutter
  • Keeping walkways clear
  • Reporting hazards that the employee can’t fix themselves so that management can take care of it
  • What to do if someone falls or gets hurt
  • Informing management about the fall
  • Calling 911 if necessary

2. Neutralize indoor slipping and tripping hazards.

There are many potential hazards that could cause someone to slip or trip. Since you don’t want a customer or employee to have a fall, take some time and evaluate the inside of your premises for hazards.

You can use the following list as a start:

  • Check carpet for any holes, tears, or seams that could trip someone and fix them.
  • Mark any ledges or steps on your floor clearly so that people won’t trip over them.
  • Make sure any doormats and rugs are lying flat.
  • Use wet floor signs for freshly mopped areas or places where there are spills. Clean up spills immediately.
  • Check that there’s enough lighting so people can see where they’re going. Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Make sure your emergency exit lighting is working properly.
  • If you have any stairs, make sure they’re not cluttered and that your handrails are secure.

3. Get rid of any outdoor tripping/slipping/falling hazards.

Your responsibility/liability doesn’t end at the front doors of your business. If someone gets hurt outside your business, like in the parking lot, you could be found liable. Make sure that your property – including the outside – is free of trip hazards.

  • Check that the walkway is clear of cracks and holes that could trip someone.
  • Get any potholes or cracks in the parking lot repaired and fix any uneven surfaces.
  • Make sure that you have enough outdoor lighting so that people can find their way. (Side note: Having adequate outdoor lighting can also help you prevent a burglary at your business.)
  • Have a plan for how to handle ice in the winter months. Maybe we don’t get a ton of snow in Atlanta, but we do get ice when it freezes overnight. Have sand or salt on-hand and look into getting a service that will clear your walkway and parking lot. Be vigilant for icy patches and use signs to keep people from accidentally walking on them.

Taking steps to remove slipping and tripping hazards at your business can help protect both your customers and your employees (you would have to file a workers’ comp claim if an employee fell at work.) Tripping can lead to broken bones, sprains, and many other injuries. But your business can take to reduce the chances of someone getting hurt and subsequently taking legal action against you. So, go on trip patrol and remove any hazards before they hurt someone.

If you want to shop around for your business insurance so that you can save some money, we would be more than happy to help you! We can help you get Atlanta business insurance quotes and save some money. All you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call today.