Number of Workplace Fatalities Decline, Liability Coverage Crucial

While business owners are likely aware of how important it is to keep their clients and employees alike safe, some accidents or incidents may be unavoidable. When these happen and someone is seriously injured or if the event is fatal, having ample liability insurance is crucial for small businesses.

A new report from the Associated Press cited figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that revealed on-the-job incidents resulted in 43 employee fatalities in West Virginia alone, marking the third-lowest level seen in the history of the census on fatalities in the workplace.

Preliminary data found that the total in 2011 was 54.7 percent lower than the total recorded the year before. The drop from 95 fatalities to 43 suggests a significant improvement in business safety, though some industries that involve riskier task and performance continue to account for a large amount of accidents that result in the death of employees.

Small business owners are urged to carefully assess their risk level, and purchase an adequate amount of liability insurance in addition to a standard business insurance policy. Those who are in an industry that require more manual labor may find that they need extra coverage, as they may be more likely to file a claim.

According to the report, there were 4,609 workplace fatalities in 2011 across the nation, a decline from 2010’s 4,690 deaths. Incidents involving transportation continued to account for the majority of fatal incidents, while being struck by equipment or another option were also common reasons for death. The AP highlighted that these two situations made up two-thirds of all employee fatalities.

Some industries that have historically had more fatalities in the workplace include mining, gas and oil extraction, transportation warehousing and construction. This may not come as surprise since all of these businesses include working with powerful equipment.

Despite precautionary measure taken by business owners when it comes to safety on-site and while job duties are being performed, accidents can happen without warning. Should an incident result in the death of an employee, it is important that small business owners have the right amount of liability insurance to protect themselves and their company from potential lawsuits that could ensue should this happen.

While saving money may be a major concern for those just starting out, it is crucial to implement an insurance policy that will extend enough coverage to keep your business afloat should an accident occur.