Buying a Businesss? – (Business Practice Checklist)
Buying a business requires many examinations to the process, regardless if you are in the
market to buy or sell. The niche market of commercial transportation will be reviewed
in this writing piece. This will help to reduce any General Liability Business Exposures you may face
if you are in the transportation industry, or looking to buy a transportation company.
Bottom line, it will help with the overall business practice and operation.
Transportation Industry? –
(Business Practice & Recommendations)
Now, let’s review the recommendations a business or commercial operation
may undergo if actual general liability exposure risks became apparent.
This means a different list of exposure recommendations will follow. So, review the
below listed. They will help direct you into reducing any future exposure risks through coverage.
Let’s say that you have a legal binding contract.
It has already been signed and processed years ago.
A good recommendation is to have it reviewed.
You should have it revived routinely by legal counsel, however.
This will help to ensure that you are not assuming any unintended liability exposure.
This is because such contracts can include what is called a “hold harmless agreements,
lease arrangements, contracts of carriage, and purchase orders”.
This is beneficial with so many risks. You know that under this agreement, risk exposure is curtailed.
So, as you can see, there are many different types of reviews that must be
examined when it comes to your business contracts.
Hiring and Firing Procedures
Everything has procedures, this is including the hiring and firing process of employees.
Many companies regardless of industry, have a separate department that handles just this relationship.
This type of relationship with their employees is given a name in most major companies, which
is called the “human resource department”. Most local and national level companies have this department.
It is an intricate step in the process of maintaining a health internal workforce.
This is a department where they will walk you down the process of getting established
with the proper work codes and proper working conditions.
Working conditions are a huge part of this process.
Many other outside agencies have their eyes on this area of a business.
So, for companies to reduce the probability of risk exposure, such as:
- employee related suits,
- involvement of wrongful discharge,
- or harassment,
A detailed personal record keeping should be implanted.
This will keep equilibrium between departments and future security.
In addition to these tactics, a consistent hiring and firing practices
should be instituted and maintained.
Work Area Access Restrictions
Access restriction to vital points is always a good safety protocol,
on any level and within any department.
Customer access to certain areas of your business or operations is huge.
Such areas that should not be accessible by customers is
vehicle reprint, warehousing or any other work areas.
A Call for Designation
These work areas should be designated for employees only. Why?
This is because it will reduce any future exposure in liability terms.
This plan of caution can help minimize personal injury lawsuits and theft.
And, if you have a California business, then you understand how rampant
legal suits are, and that you should take measures for protection.
One way in doing this is, to label or designate certain working areas.
This is because if you have designated areas, you can monitor and control
the flow of foot movement in that space.
In those areas, where customers are allowed, extra care should always be taken.
This will help keep floors free oils and grease.
This will help to reduce the possibility of slip and fall injury to customers,
and minimize risk exposure from a legal stance or business profile.
Shipping and Receiving Area Safety
If you’re in the transportation business, then unloading and loading areas
are a big area of conversation when it comes to safety.
This means there are areas of traffic that have a lot of activity or movement on.
This increased traffic number, or high activity rate,
is also an increase in risk exposure.
So, considering safety concerns, certain steps should be taken to
ensure that all pathways are secured and safe.
All sidewalks, including customer parking areas and outside
terminal shipping and receiving areas should be checked out.
This safety precaution should not be just checked out once, but done so routinely.
This is done for adequate lighting and the existence
of any hazardous cracks, potholes or debris.
These inspections help determine any future hazards, or areas of safety concern.
This practice is especially helpful during the winter months.
This is when regular maintenance should be performed.
This act will help to make sure these areas are free of ice and snow,
which can be devastating if left unattended.
Chemical Discharge, a discussion that we must talk
about when discussing safety precautions.
This is because governmental laws exist to minimize the effect of the chemical discharge,
and secure safety conditions. If laws were created for this protection,
then you can understand the importance of this timely topic discussion.
So, under current environmental laws, or EPA law, the intentional
discharge of chemicals into sewers or streams is prohibited.
It is also subject to sever penalties if found responsible for the chemical discharge.
All waste material should be disposed of through systems that always
- and federal regulations and law
This is an obvious statement, but one that needs to be pointed out.
This is because many operations continue to discharge hazards chemicals, major oil companies for example.
Security Company Usage
If you are using a security company to help facilitate your operations,
make sure that you find out if they are maintaining
adequate limits of liability of insurance.
This is especially true if they are using guns or dogs in
the process of their security methods. You want to make sure there are no gaps in
coverage on any level or on any end.
If you hire a security company, make sure to have a checklist that will help you
determine if that company will best suit your security and liability needs.
Consider this like a job interview. You know what type of security you need for your business,
and you are just looking for someone to fill it.
Interview as many people as possible. Select the individual and
the company that will best suit your immediate, and long-term goals.
A written driver safety program is our recommendation.
This safety program will help to reduce the chance of loss caused by driver error.
And, you know how human error happens?
It normally happens when you least expect it, right?
Therefore, you need protection and a game plan to secure your future.
Such a game plan or program will vary case to case, however.
This is because it depends on the scope of the operations.
Keep in mind that it could involve many steps.
These steps are designed to ensure that you have performed well in certain areas.
Some of these areas of the program are:
- adequate driver selection,
- and ongoing supervision, if needed.
This means that it should be provided at the time of your interest.
These types of programs might include the following:
- Mandatory license checks,
- along with the written test,
- and road test, for all new drivers,
Program checks exist. These programs for example, Motor vehicle records,
checks on an annual basis for all existing drivers.
It also includes the implementation of the point system.
The incorporation of the “point system” was a great safety measure.
This is because this tool is to prohibit unsafe drivers from
operating company vehicles, is a great safety measure.
A policy with the personal use of a company vehicle.
Routine Compliance Checks
Routine compliance checks for applicable vehicles can be conducted.
Usually, those D.O.T, I.C.C. and state agency regulations
have an inclusion of certain documents or procedures.
These procedures include:
- physical exams,
- personnel files,
- driver logs,
- accident reporting,
- drug testing,
- hours of service,
- or other mandated government regulations.
Lot Security and Policy Protection
Another way to reduce the possibility of auto vandalism or theft is to equip
your vehicle parking storage area with a standard security feature.
This security system would include adequate overhead lighting, drive away
barricades or fencing to prevent vehicles from
being driven off lots without authorization.
This would allow control of this access point.
Also, the use of burglar alarm system and or a private security company are
all methods to reduce the possible of any
unauthorized entry during nighttime hours.
This is normally the time of day that most security protection is needed.
Parked Vehicle Loss Reduction Plan
Another way to reduce a probability of a catastrophic loss in a
vehicle storage area is to maintain adequate clearance.
This clearance should be between each parked unit.
It should also be on all biding structures.
Visible marked firefighting equipment
should also be located near the parking area.
This will help to recue any sever potential for fire loss.
Vehicle Maintenance Procedure
Yes, here goes that word again, maintenance.
There is a good reason that maintenance is the centerfold
in this whole article conversation. However, this time it applies to your vehicle.
This is a written vehicle maintenance program. It should be established and include
writing services and reprint records.
Some of these are:
- out of service standards,
- regular vehicle inspections.
They include driver checks prior to and after each trip.
They also mandate replacement schedules
for both equipment and vehicle’s
Cargo Theft Prevention
To reduce the probability of cargo theft, specific loss prevention
procedures should be considered into an action plan.
They would include the use of truck
or warehouse alarms for immediate threats.
Using these tools to signal any future fire loss can be instrumental.
Also, hiring a watchman or guard services
is another way to reduce theft activity.
Using accompany vehicles for high target cargo.
Also, elimination of the use of open pick up trucks for local delivery.
Installation of a fence or lighting system at
all terminals with loading areas would be advisable.
Certificate of Coverage?
This is what we all want, the certificate of insurance. You buy and pay for your insurance and
now you’re ready for proof or evidence of insurance. Understandably, because, you might have
purchased the insurance now to use now. Meaning, you may need the certificate of coverage now,
to fulfill an outside agency’s order or request.
Cargo Theft Prevention
There are some tactics to into consideration when it comes to securing your cargo.
For example, to reduce the probability of theft of it, the use of specific procedures
in the field of prevention should be implemented or at least considered.
These procedures would include the use of:
- truck or warehouse alarms,
- hiring of watchman
- or guard services
Also, have a drill procedure where the use of convoys
or accompany vehicles for high target cargo is used.
There are other procedures that would also help in theft reduction or avoidance.
The use of pickup trucks for local delivery, and the use of fencing and
a lighting system at all the terminal loading areas would
help reduce the likelihood of theft from occurring.
Certificates of Insurance – Documentation of Proof?
If you have subcontractors, a driver coverage checklist should be implemented.
This would eliminate any exposure or liability issues that could possibly occur.
This checklist for the drivers would secure in place all owner-operators being used
in long-term lease situations and proper procedures that follow with this job description.
Evidence of vehicle liability insurance and workers compensation insurance should be held prior to any haul.
Makes sense. You want to make sure all parties, not just the driver, are protected.
This ensures the safety of all, indirectly and directly.
Vehicle Equipment Overview/Plan?
There are certain features that all vehicles should be equipped with.
These help in situations involving the safety of course.
They include the following:
- appropriate hoists,
- tie downs,
- snow chains,
- traffic markers,
- and safety fuses
There is a lot of information that needs to be
reviewed for security and protection if you are a
transportation company looking to buy a
new company for expansion purposes, or a new business the venture, new to this industry.
Regardless of your level of experience in this market, you may still have questions.
No problem, we have answers!
Contact us if you would like to explore your business portfolio
or learn more about business opportunities in 2018!