Across Australia, small businesses in many different industries are preparing for the days in the near future when they will reopen to some extent or another. Certainly, all due caution is necessary when it comes to these efforts, especially because there could be a public liability risk for companies that do not follow all recommended (or required) precautions to limit coronavirus infection risk.
For instance, when restaurants and bars reopen, experts believe many will have significantly reduced capacities, serving between 25-50% of the patrons they normally would at any given time, according to Sunrise. Likewise, retailers may be forced to reduce store capacities, as well as changing their in-store approaches to include maximum social distancing, more rigorous cleaning schedules, requiring employees (and possibly customers) to wear protective gear and so on.
One of the industries hit hardest by the outbreak has been the fitness sector, as gyms and instructors alike have all but shut down operations. When they come back, capacities and class sizes will be limited, to say the least, and disinfecting equipment after every use will no longer be a courtesy fellow exercisers will extend to each other – it will be required.
In addition, gym members will no longer be able to use water fountains or showers in most cases.
The obvious reason for companies to undertake all of these precautions is to make sure the coronavirus does not spread significantly. Businesses may face significant public liability risks if they become a vector for infection and it is shown that they did not follow proper procedures to ensure sanitisation and social distancing.
Having the right insurance now can help shield companies from significant financial risk, according to Insurance Business Australia, and will be vital if a legal claim is made against the firm. As such, when companies are already proceeding with all due caution to reopen, making sure they have all the right coverage in place (and up to date according to their needs) is a must.
If you or someone you know has been injured or made ill as a result of a public liability issue, the professionals at Gerard Malouf & Partners are here to help. Get in touch with us to learn more with a free consultation, as well as information on our 90-day trial period and our No Win No Fee programme.