Most companies do what they can to keep workers safe on the job. You have rules and policies to help do this. You spend a great deal of time with training programs. Still, nearly every company will have some accidents and injuries over time. However, the reason behind them is very important to understand.
If you know of a problem but fail to take action to fix it, you may face significant consequences. This includes claims of serious and willful misconduct. Your workers’ compensation insurance may help, but limitations may exist.
What Is It?
Serious and willful misconduct occurs when an employer knows of a problem and does not remedy it. As a result, someone suffers an injury or becomes ill.
This type of negligent behavior is highly risky. Here is an example. You know a piece of equipment is faulty. You put off getting it fixed. You encourage your workers to use it. And, they suffer an injury. In this case, you may find claims of serious and willful misconduct against you. It occurs when there is time and opportunity for an employer to take action, but they fail to do so.
Keep in mind that simple fixes may not be enough. If you took steps to repair the equipment, but they were not enough, this could still fall under this type of claim. The key to remember is that the employer has the requirement to provide a safe workplace. When the employee faces risky situations due to negligence on behalf of the employer, you may face financial loss as a result.
Will Workers’ Compensation Insurance Help You?
This depends on the situation. However, some states say no. If a court finds your business acted in a serious and willful way and someone suffered loss as a result, your workers’ compensation insurance may be untouchable to help you.
This could mean some or all the fines you pay could come from your business’s bottom line. This is very costly. Though it is not easy to prove an employer committed this level of negligence, many attorneys can do so.
This should clearly show that you shouldn't let willful negligence occur. To avoid this, react right away whenever there is some type of risk to your employees. Workers’ compensation insurance is there to protect you. However, it does have limitations. If you fail to maintain a safe area, the employee’s losses may be yours to pay.
Learn more about how Worker's compensation insurance from The Louisiana Insurance Center can help your business. Call us at (225) 292-7680 for a fast, free policy quote.