The heat is on - are you insurance ready?
It’s set to be the hottest summer in memory, both on and off the football pitch. But as the nights grow long and the beer gardens start to fill up, Club Insure’s Victoria Romero-Trigo explains how your insurance requirements might change.
Warmer temperatures present more opportunities to host bigger events and attract new customers. Barbeques, beer festivals, world cup games on the big screen… all help make a buzz around the community. But it’s important to make sure you’re covered for the change in business that the heat brings. Below, you’ll find a useful list of things to consider to make sure that you have the right cover in place.
For the most part, when you run an outdoors event, you’re under many of the same legal obligations that you are with BAU. These events are still classed as work and as such are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the various other regulations passed under it. It’s also very likely that any volunteers who help run the event are classed as employees for the purposes of Employer’s Liability and Health and Safety legislation.
As the event organiser, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the location (including means of access, equipment, substances etc) are safe and won’t cause any harm to the visiting public or your staff. Location in this context means the area of your club grounds where the event will take place. The key to ensuring that the event location is safe is to do an exhaustive risk assessments and checks. But assessments alone aren’t enough. Once you identify a risk, you must act to mitigate it and put safety measures in place. Be as thorough as possible; even the most trivial risk could have large consequences.
A key point here is to make safety measures compulsory for staff, volunteers and customers. Make sure you know whether you need a Temporary Event Notice from the local licensing authority. Insurance If your event has activities which could be considered hazardous, it’s vital that you speak to your insurer or broker as soon as possible. If your standard business offerings aren’t hazardous, you may not be covered for this event.
Hazardous events might include (but not be limited to): archery, assault courses, bouncy castles bungee jumping, clay pigeon shooting, firework displays and bonfires. If you’re hiring outside contractors to run the event (or specific parts of the event), they must have their own employers liability and public liability insurance with an indemnity. The contractor’s public liability should cover both damage to property and accident or injury to members of the public.
This is vitally important if they’re running stalls or attractions where they have constant and immediate interaction with event-goers. Despite the Unfair Contract Terms Act, some conditions observed recently have endeavoured to place onerous responsibilities upon the event organiser which should have been catered for by the suppliers’ own liability insurance.
Planning the Venue
It is the organiser, not the land owner, who has ultimate responsibility to make sure the event area is safe. This includes any buildings, land, equipment, machinery and produce within the designated area. Below are a list of potential risks, measures and things to consider when it comes to checking your venue is safe. Please remember that these are indicative and your list should be far more exhaustive.
Points to consider:
• Has the local Fire Prevention Officer been contacted to ensure that the proposed use is acceptable and that there is no breach of any fire regulations?
• Are buildings large enough with sufficient entrances and exits for the numbers anticipated?
• Are fire exits clearly marked?
• Are sufficient fire extinguishers provided?
• Do exhibitors or stallholders need to bring in equipment? • Are doorways wide enough to accommodate such equipment?
• Are there awkward steps or corridors to negotiate?
• Are there sufficient numbers of people to help unload?
• Will vehicles need to be brought close to entrances and what are the traffic implications?
If you are showing a world cup game, for example, you should also take into consideration the positioning of the screen to maintain the safety of staff and members of the public. Try to put the screen in a central location but preferably next to a wall. Customer should be able to see the screen from as many angles as possible so as to not create bottlenecks or overcrowding.
Customers having a drink and a good time when they’re at your club or event, is a great thing. But as you well know, drink and hot weather isn’t always a mix that brings out the best in people. But you do have the law on your side when refusing to serve people who may have had one too many. Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, fines of up to £1000 can be handed to licensees and bar staff who knowingly sell alcohol to somebody who is drunk or being drunk and disorderly in public.
Club Insure covers all aspects of club insurance. Contact Victoria Romero-Trigo, Director at:
t. 0844 488 9204
Club Insure Ltd
Romero House, 8 Airport West,
Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7ZA
HSE advice on selection of competent contractors: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg159.pdf