Information on what ESDs can be liable for can be found in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 755.033.
There is no sure way to prevent law suits from being filed against a district. However, there are many steps that ESDs can take to drastically reduce the risk of being sued. The following steps are just a few of the many ways ESDs can take the initiative in protecting themselves and their employees:
- Know the law and/or obtain an attorney to help you understand and follow it
- Ensure employees, volunteers, and contractors stay within the legal limits
- Canvass the ESDs operation in order to seek out and eliminate potential hazards such as:
- Unsafe equipment
- Employees and/or volunteers with inadequate training
- Unsafe driving practices
- Ensure employees and volunteers are properly trained to handle their jobs
- Establish work rules and procedures to reduce risks in the workplace
- Look at operational policies and procedures to ensure unsafe practices do not currently exist
- Adopt proper employment policies and practices
- Obtain appropriate insurance
- Obtain annual criminal history and driving record checks on all applicants for employment with the ESD or a contracted emergency services provider.