Common Risk Exposures for Produce Distributors

Common Risk Exposures for Produce Distributors The wholesale and distribution sector transports merchandise to retail stores and other exporters all over the country. According to the U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook and the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration, wholesale trade sales are approximately $3.2 trillion with approximately 300,000 merchants in the U.S. While this industry is such a key component to our nation’s trade supply, there are inherent risks that coincide with their operations. In order to protect against these perils, these businesses need a Produce Distributor Insurance Program designed with Best Practice Procedures, integrating proven risk management processes specifically to prevent claims, which is required for all wholesale businesses.

Auto Exposures

As delivery vehicles are a huge component of this industry, a formidable driver screening process needs to be followed. In addition to having a valid driver’s license, this means that each driver needs to be screened with a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), which determines the driver’s history. Next, drivers need to undergo a pre-employment physical in order to ensure the candidate has no underlying medical conditions that might disqualify him from driving privileges.

Once hired, a written and well-documented training program should be provided. Instructions and safety measures need to be tailored for the specific type of vehicle being operated, also detailing the company’s policies and procedures of operating vehicles. This includes drug and alcohol policies as they relate to their duties behind the wheel.

When an accident or a claim does occur, the driver should follow the Accident Procedure /Accident Kit guide (typically kept in the glove box). This information specifically manages the amount of information being conveyed between the two or more parties and further reduces and/or eliminates negligent liability.

These are just a few of the many risk management tools made readily available through Capital Insurance Group.

Workers’ Compensation

Unfortunately, this is a largest exposure of risk for the distribution industry. As many laborers must use heavy and potentially dangerous equipment on a daily basis, their risks for becoming injured are great. Whether an employee slips and falls and injures themselves or fails to follow required safety protocols, these costs can be detrimental to the business.

For example, some common risks include slips, falls, forklift incidents, and back injuries sustained from manually handling goods and materials.

In order to prevent these exposures, wholesalers and distributors should sort items appropriately, place the items in the correct order, reduce clutter in the final distribution area, and maintain high standards of cleanliness to remain efficient and consistent. In addition, proper housekeeping practices should be implemented and spills should be cleaned immediately. Further, employees who operate forklifts and other machinery need to be trained and overseen at all times.

At Capital Insurance Group, we provide comprehensive protection for wholesalers and distributors with custom tailored solutions to match their business exposures. Our expertise and knowledge of the industry has allowed us to serve Southeastern Michigan businesses for the last 35 years. For more information regarding our risk management and insurance services, contact our experts today at (888) 296-0418.