December seems like an odd time for us to talk about ‘getting ready for winter’. With Christmas nearly here, many venues will have started their winter preparation months ago.
But it’s easy to forget that December is really just the mild start to winter. In the New Year, we can expect snowfall and heavy rain as January and February take hold. Even if you’ve already started your preparation, now is time to take stock and get ready for things to become even more challenging.
As party season hits full throttle, and the dark nights get longer, here are our top tips for keeping your venue claim-free this season:
Flooding, heavy winds, snow and ice are real and dangerous risks at this time of year. Take a look at this blog we wrote recently for hints and tips on reducing the impact of flooding at your venue.
For heavy winds, our advice is simple: Secure anything loose, and bring outside furniture inside. Limit the number of people who are standing in uncovered space around your venue.
Snow and ice may cause a far trickier problem, as some of the most dangerous risks can’t be seen. The council will grit certain areas but leave others untouched.
Make sure that you are generous with the grit used and make note of where and when it is applied. Pay special attention to outdoor stairways and entrance steps.
Make regular and recorded checks of flat roofs.
To prevent frozen pipes in winter time, your policy may require you to ensure that the pipes are lagged and that thermostatic switches are set to activate the heating system whenever the temperature at the coolest point of the building drops below 4 degrees Centigrade for (example). Check you individual policy for the requirements specific to you.
Injuries in your venue
As with most aspects of insurance, your best defence against claims (and more importantly, people getting injured in the first place) is a good offence. You need to be proactive and make sure you’re ahead of any possible accident.
Checklists can be extremely useful in monitoring things like glass collection, toilet cleaning and spillages, they can also be used as evidence against spurious claims, so try to make sure that checklists are completed at least every half an hour. It is useful if the checklists make a note of action taken such as cleared spillage, swept broken glass etc rather than just a simple tick in a box.
A claimant has three years in which to pursue a claim, so please ensure that you retain your checklists securely for at least three years. Insurance companies are likely to make sure you have followed the relevant procedures to try and defend the claim if an injury does take place.
If you’re an NDML customer, you have access to exclusive discounts on the intelligent due diligence software, isitchecked. Contact us today to find out how it could save your business money and time.
Who is responsible for what areas?
A question we’re commonly asked is who is responsible for keeping what areas safe for customers. Are you responsible for the road outside your front door, or is it the council’s responsibility.
The simple answer is that there are legal responsibilities and moral responsibilities. Technically, you’re only responsible for land and property which is yours it is the council’s job to make sure that paths and pavements are safe for people to walk on.
However, as your venue is the attraction drawing customers to the location, the moral argument suggests you should make an effort to ensure that the council have fulfilled their responsibilities.
Follow the advice of the Health and Safety Executive
To reduce the risk of trips and slips on ice, frost or snow, the HSE advises that a business needs to assess the risk and put a system in place to manage it. It is suggested that you must:
- Identify the outdoor areas used by pedestrians most likely to be affected by ice;
- Monitor the temperature, and take preventative measures
- Put a procedure in place to prevent an icy surface forming and/or keep pedestrians off the slippery surface; and
- If warning cones are used, remember to remove them once the hazard has passed or they will eventually be ignored.
If you’d like any more information about reducing the risk for your customers this winter, contact us today on 0844 488 9205.