August brings with it the long weekend – An opportunity to hold an outdoor event to entice customers into your establishment – A barbeque or end of the summer party. Here are a few considerations to ensure that your bars and clubs are adequately covered and your licensees are aware of the latest legislation. Does your insurance cover such an event? Are you even aware of your insurance responsibilities?
All entertainment events are classed as work, as are most activities, so they are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the various other regulations passed under it. Also it is virtually certain that any volunteers working at the event will be classed as employees for the purposes of Employers Liability and Health & Safety legislation.
An event organiser has a duty to ensure that any premises, open spaces, means of access and egress, and any plant, equipment and substances are safe and without risk to the health of any employees, volunteers or visitors.
As you want to hold a safe event, make sure you carry out a risk assessment and act upon its findings to eliminate and mitigate risk to your employees and volunteers and the members of the public who attend.
Make sure that you know whether you need a Temporary Event Notice from the local licensing authority.
If you are planning any event which includes activities of a hazardous nature, then you must contact Club Insure as soon as possible because liability insurance may not be in place unless specifically agreed by your insurer.
Hazardous events might include, but not be limited to: Archery, Assault course, Bouncy castles Bungee jumping, Clay pigeon shooting and Firework Displays & Bonfires.
If outside contractors are employed to provide attractions, the event organiser should check that each attraction provider holds adequate public liability insurance with an indemnity.
If you allow people who are not employed by you to run stalls, displays, rides, sideshows etc., you should ensure that they have their own public liability insurance to cover both property damage and accident or injury to members of the public. 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
Organisers need to consider the suitability of the proposed venue. Whilst the owners of any buildings and land that are used have a responsibility to ensure that their property is safe, it is the organisers who have a primary responsibility.
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?
Whilst inebriated customers are par for the course in the late night leisure and hospitality industry all year round, the summer sun can be bring out the worst in many. It is important therefore that all licensees and bar staff are aware that recent government proposals, being tabled under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, intend to raise maximum fines from £1000 to £4000 for selling alcohol to somebody who is drunk, or being drunk and disorderly in public.
Flexible opening hours for licensed premises, with the potential for extended opening times, enable people to drink to excess over longer periods of time. In addition, less disposable incomes and the appeal of cheap drink offers from most supermarkets have increased the likelihood of pre-loading at home in advance of visiting late bars and night clubs – making the complexities of being a socially aware and responsible town or city center licensee all the more testing.
Comprehensive cover and complete protection is essential
Steve Fleming, Broking Director for NDML comments: “It is inevitable that there has been an increase in accidents due to drink but more telling that customers are encouraged to pursue claims for damages, by the variety of personal injury lawyers on offer.
“In a society that is heavily influenced by the ‘no win, no fee’ culture, it is ever more important that companies trading in the leisure industry have adequate cover for all aspects of their business.”
NDML are award winning, specialist’s brokers for the late night leisure and hospitality industry. For further information on any of the subject matter mentioned above, to arrange a confidential face to face review or to speak to one of our experts – simply visit our website or call 0844 488 9204.