A small business can’t be expected to recover from accidents, injuries and illnesses as quickly or easily as a large corporation. When employees need workers’ compensation or medical expenses covered, it can ruin a small business. The most serious workplace injuries and illnesses in 2010 amounted to $51.1 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs alone. Tweet This For these reasons and others, small businesses could benefit from more and improved protective regulations.
According to The Hill, some regulations already in place to help small business owners are at risk of being repealed. The Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule,” which requires financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients, is on the chopping block by the Trump Administration. The rule is estimated to supply $40 billion (over ten years) to people saving for retirement, including small business owners. Saving for retirement is another pressing issue for small business owners and their employees, and this rule could significantly help.
Also according to The Hill, “sound regulations could benefit business owners by lowering workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding OSHA penalties, and reducing costs to train replacement employees and conduct accident investigations.”
Since the Trump Administration has been focusing on the Affordable Care Act and on repealing regulations that inhibit small business owners, it will likely take some time before any new, protective regulations are put into place. What can small business owners do in the meantime to help protect their businesses? Here are a few ways you can be proactive:
Make Sure You’re Meeting All Necessary OSHA (& Any Other) Guidelines
The penalties for not meeting OSHA guidelines can be steep. Plus, if you aren’t meeting these and other safety guidelines, your business is more likely to have employees become injured or ill on the job. Either way, your small business will be in a difficult position if it’s not meeting standards. Review OSHA guidelines and consult the appropriate sources to make sure your company is meeting every requirement necessary.
Prioritize Safety & Train Employees to Put Safety First
By prioritizing safety and training your employees to put safety first, you may be able to minimize workers’ compensation or medical costs for your company. Make safety a part of your company culture and find opportunities to remind employees that their health and safety matter to you. You may want to consider monthly or quarterly safety meetings to help remind employees of guidelines and teach them to take precautions.
Get Creative with How You Save (& Help Your Employees Save) for Retirement
You may not be able to offer 401Ks to your employees, or even have one yourself, but you can still help your team save for retirement, and have a plan for yourself as well. There are a few different options available to small business owners and their employees, so consider researching alternative options to help plan for the future.
Small businesses are facing multiple pressing issues – here are some other ways to be a proactive small business owner:
- The Proactive Small Business Owner Series: Navigating Your Taxes and Regulations
- The Proactive Small Business Owner Series: The Affordable Care Act
- The Proactive Small Business Owner: Securing a Loan
- The Proactive Small Business Owner Series: Affordable Retirement
Photo Credit: paolo2012, Twenty20