As you organize your priorities for the New Year, here are 7 key Risk and Protection reminders for your checklist. Many of these we know are important, yet they’re often not immediately urgent so they fall to the bottom of the pile. An annual schedule for these updates on your calendar can be effective in avoiding last minute panic.
- Update asset lists. Inventories of equipment, vehicles, shop & office supplies, computers and software licenses, contact information, etc. can get quickly out of date. Quarterly reviews can keep these top of mind. Keep updates off site and secure.
- Update values. Asset values – for buildings, equipment, inventory, etc. – can vary from normal inflation for lots of reasons. Don’t get caught short in the event of a loss. Review quarterly with your lists above and advise your broker if you need increases. If you can’t get these done, schedule “project steps” and perhaps a summer or holiday intern to help out.
- Schedule key dates. Keep track of renewal dates for licenses, leases, client retainers, service contracts, insurance, certifications, website URLs, etc. on several people’s calendars. Add notes about who else needs a “heads up” to be involved.
- Insurance protections. Meet with your insurance professional at least once outside of the “renewal” period. Ask about new trends in legal, coverage, and insurance rates. Talk about changes to your business and find out the “hot” topics that need your attention. Then block out time for renewal applications and benefit program updates, employee communication and enrollments.
- Safety. This can be key to employee morale, customer loyalty and your business survival. Make sure your IIPP (Injury and Illness Prevention Plan) is up to date as required by many state laws. Schedule regular Safety Committee meetings, and get the right equipment (PPEs). Ask your insurance broker about free insurance company services and inspections. Also get locations of emergency medical clinics nearest you and your work sites: each employee should have an appropriate list immediately accessible.
- HR issues and Training. Plan for employee Handbook updates, new policies and updated legal postings. Schedule employee group discussions and reminders about expectations and rules. Plan for safety training and defensive driving, equipment certifications, harassment and discrimination courses, etc. The right training, in advance, can save businesses huge hassle and headaches.
- Update Emergency plans. These “be ready” plans need review and updates. Ensure that you have the basic supplies appropriate to your location and potential circumstances (flood, windstorm, earthquake, etc.). Encourage employees to have their own supplies and some plans for family as well. Contact info must be accessible to all.
Finally, think about the big picture: who are the key people you depend on to be responsible for coordinating your overall Risk and Protection program? Do they clearly understand your priorities and expectations? Make sure you are delegating with knowledge and oversight, and not abdicating without paying attention.