The manufacturing industry is subject to a lot of legal issues and if your business is not ready to deal with these challenges, you will find yourself in a difficult position. Paying out settlements can financially cripple you, and it may be impossible to bounce back. But if you know what challenges you are likely to face, you can prepare for them and handle them in the right way. These are some of the most common legal issues that you will face in the manufacturing industry.
Health and Safety Lawsuits
A factory floor is a dangerous environment, which is why health and safety regulations exist to protect employees. As an employer, it’s down to you to make sure that regulations are always followed and systems are updated as health and safety laws evolve. If an employee is injured, an investigation will be carried out and if you have not met your responsibilities, you may face legal action. It is important that you understand the puwer regulations, which set out regulations for the safe operation of equipment and machinery. You also need to be up to speed with PPE requirements and ensure that all of your employees are wearing the correct protective items. As long as you have provided the right PPE and given the right training, you are not liable if people do not wear it correctly. If you are concerned about legal issues, it’s best to go above and beyond the health and safety laws.
It’s also important that you consider how you are going to manage safety post COVID-19. There are a lot of new measures that you will need to enforce if you want to maintain employee safety at all times.
Product Liability Lawsuits
If a consumer is injured while using a product that you have manufactured, you may be liable. That’s why it’s important that you have a rigorous testing process in place to ensure that all products are completely safe to use before they are shipped out. Unfortunately, you may still be liable even if people use products incorrectly. You can avoid lawsuits by including detailed usage instructions, so you have some defense if someone injures themselves while using a product incorrectly.
When shipping products, you may be subject to legal action if products arrive damaged or late. The terms and conditions will outline what happens in these situations, so it’s important that they are clear. If they are unclear and the customer has a different idea of what was promised when you entered into a contract with them, they may decide to sue you because they feel that you have not met your obligations. You can avoid this by writing a thorough contract and going through it in full with the customer before they sign. When writing terms and conditions, you should cover all likely situations as well as some unlikely ones.
If you run a manufacturing business, it’s important that you are prepared to deal with these potential legal challenges.