Lawsuits that feature mold as the major culprit of employee sickness have been growing in recent years, especially with more regulations around health and safety standards of buildings and workplaces. Employees have even successfully sued their companies for being exposed to mold before, highlighting multi-million-dollar payouts. This is something that businesses of all kinds want to avoid, including banks and financial firms.
Due to more public awareness around mold and other building-related health risks, such as asbestos, the number of legal claims will only see more growth. If workers who feel they’ve been exposed to these issues don’t sue, they can still claim disability and workers’ compensation, putting a bind on the business they work for.
So, what can employers in the banking industry do to limit their legal liability?
Believe it or not, mold is present in all buildings to some degree and in some fashion or another. But most people don’t feel the effects of this presence. Usually it’s those with immune-compromised systems who experience permanent and serious health effects. These symptoms include eye, nose, and throat irritation, skin irritation, nausea, fatigue, and respiratory complaints.
Mold needs water or moisture to grow, so even one-time leaks that have been taken care of in the past can create the potential for mold to grow. Additional moisture risks include lack of building maintenance, simple plumbing mistakes, excessive humidity, poor building construction, leaky pipes, or improper landscaping around the building.
If a building is experiencing water penetration in some way, it’s important to have an action plan in place to address this. If a company doesn’t act promptly, they could face immediate legal action brought on by employees, as noted above. Having bankers environmental risk insurance can help to protect against claims like these, but having a proactive approach can also limit exposure.
First, a bank should check with its bankers environmental risk insurance provider to find out if their policy has a mold exclusion. If it does, pursuing mold coverage should be the next step. Compared to costly claims related to mold exposure, picking up this coverage is definitely worth the extra price.
If a claim is made, it’s important that a bankers environmental risk insurance provider be in the know. Under most policies, the insured has to notify the insurance company in a timely manner if a claim is made. Some policies may have a specific timeline for notification, so it’s important to stay on top of this outline.
It’s also important to stay in communication with the insurer once a notice has been given. A bankers environmental risk insurance provider may hire experts and legal counsel to address any claims made. Regular updates from all parties should be encouraged so that employees are kept aware of the situation and all bases are covered.
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