Preparing for the Bank Holiday: What risk management can you put in place to prevent claims

It doesn’t seem two minutes since the last bank holiday; but the final Bank Holiday Monday of the season is just around the corner. Bank Holidays can be fantastic for business. More customers drinking at your venues for longer can only be good news for your bottom lines. But more customers also means more risk.

And more potential claimants.

A large claim could ruin your bank holiday, and in the worst case scenarios, bring trade at your club to a halt.

So in this article, we’re going to look at the insurance and legislation considerations that you must take into account to keep your venue claim free over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Talk to us

First things first, if you’re an NDML customer and you’re planning on hosting a Bank Holiday event that causes substantial changes to the normal running of your venue (e.g considerable extra customer numbers, use of temporary bars, extra caterers or contractors) you must let us know.

There’s every chance that your insurance policy is already tailored to cover the event, but it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. In our 20 years in the late night and leisure industry, we’ve seen too many examples of venues falling foul of claims purely because they hadn’t checked whether they were covered or not.

We’re experts in understanding the fine print of an insurance policy and can therefore offer you’re the best advice.

Contractors and Equipment

At this time of year, it’s common for venues to hire extra entertainment to help draw the crowds. The drawback is, some of these extra activities or suppliers may have hazards that aren’t normally present at your venue.

If you are hiring hazardous equipment or attractions, it’s imperative that you make sure that all equipment has a full check and service history carried out by a qualified professional. It’s also important that the equipment, and anyone tasked with running it on the day, has its/their own insurance.

You should request a copy of the public liability certificate from the contractor. If you’re unsure whether it’s valid or the liability limit is adequate, we’d be happy to take a look for you.

Risk Assessments and Health and Safety

All entertainment events are classed as work, as are most activities associated with them, so your event will be subject to the Health & Safety at work act. This covers and any staff working the event, or volunteers, who are classed as employees for the purposes of Employers Liability and Health & Safety legislation.

Risk assessments and proper risk management are vital in the avoidance of any claims – especially considering changes to the sentencing for gross negligence manslaughter claims.

The event organiser (your venue) has a duty to ensure that all areas of your premises and any equipment on it, is safe and won’t cause harm to any staff or visitor.

We mentioned risk assessments and risk management in the same breath, as both are virtually null and void without the other.

Again, NDML are experts in Risk Management, so if you need any help in devising a risk management strategy for your event, we’re happy to help.

As far as legislation is concerned, it’s also worth checking whether your need a Temporary Event Notice from the local licensing authority.

Other Points to Consider:

• Have you alerted the local Fire Prevention Officer to make sure that any increase in customers or the use of new equipment isn’t causing a fire hazard?
• Are buildings large enough to accommodate the number of visitors you’re anticipating?
• Are your evacuation plans still applicable for the event?
• Is there space for emergency vehicles to enter and park?
• Are there plenty of fire extinguishers?
• What additional equipment are contractors bringing that may cause fire or slip and trip hazards?


Hopefully, your event will go fantastically, and your customers will spend lots of money. Please remember however, that while drunkenness is expected, it is illegal for bar staff to purposely supply alcohol to anyone who is obviously drunk or disorderly.

In the best case scenario, your club will get a telling off and a fine. In the worst cases, you could have your license investigated.

If you’re concerned that you haven’t considered every risk management and legislative possibility, you can contact our team today. Our friendly staff will talk you through your obligations and help to ensure that your bank holiday runs smoothly.