When you run a company or non-profit organization that maintains its own properties and facilities, you have a lot of things to worry about. You need to keep up with maintenance and repair needs, protect your space with security systems, keep things up to code, etc.
And, of course, you need to use your space to the fullest in service of whatever it is that your organization or company does. It’s a lot to handle! On top of all of that, though, there’s one more thing that you need to think carefully about: your legal liability.
Legal liability in your facilities and spaces
Liability simply means having responsibility for something. When we talk about legal liability, we’re talking about the possibility that you could be held responsible for that something in court — something like an injury on your property, for instance. If someone else gets hurt in your facility and you are liable, then you could be on the losing end of a big personal injury lawsuit.
Of course, personal injury cases and liability are a bit more complicated than many people think. Successfully suing someone over an injury is not a simple matter of just getting hurt on someone else’s property. Under the laws of most nations, including Canada and the United States, liability hinges on your responsibilities and negligence.
According to experts at Canadian personal injury firms, in order to win a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove damages, must prove that those damages were the result of an accident, and must prove that the accident in question was the result of negligence. This means the defendant did something that they should not have or failed to do something that they should have, and that action or inaction resulted in the accident.
How to limit liability on your property
Keeping your facilities safe starts with building them the right away and outfitting them with the proper improvements and materials. That’s not news to the experts at Northstar Glass, a glass supply company that specializes in tough glass for industrial and laboratory purposes. Glass is just one example of the sorts of material that you need to pay close attention to as you create and improve your facilities and real estate spaces. Cheaping out on proper materials can create dangerous situations that you could be liable for.
Maintenance is key, too. You should be getting things repaired as soon as they require it — but why wait that long? The cost of deferred maintenance is sky-high, and the potential legal costs of a dangerously neglected facility are even higher. Stay one step ahead of problems on your property by investing heavily in preventative maintenance.
Your maintenance experts shouldn’t be the only ones that pay frequent visits to your facility. Janitorial services are a must, too. Make sure that your space is clean and uncluttered in order to make it as safe as possible. Of course, you’ll want to rely on trusted experts for these sorts of services — a freshly mopped floor without a proper “wet floor” sign can be as dangerous as the filth that was there before.
Invest in security, too. In addition to protecting your space and the people who use it, a proper investment in security will protect you from the legal consequences of a security break that you could have and should have stopped.
You should make sure that your insurance coverage includes plenty of liability coverage, too. Even if you do everything right, there’s a chance that you’ll need to prove that in court. Legal costs can get expensive, so make sure that you are covered.
Finally, be sure to get an attorney to help you keep your spaces up to code. Consulting with a trained and certified legal professional now could save you from having to pay more to a legal expert later on — as a defendant in a lawsuit.