Ensure your business does not stumble trip and fall

5 ways to ensure your business does not stumble trip and fall

Trip and fall, it can all happen so quickly – a customer catches their foot on a chair leg, or slips when coming in from the rain – but your business is left dealing with the legal and financial fallout for months.

Whether you have a restaurant, a shop, an office or work from home – if a customer is on your premises, generally you’re responsible for their safety.

A trip here or a fall there could mean a claim is headed your way. Here are five steps to minimise the impact it can have on your business.

1. Make your site safe

SafeWork Australia and all of the state and territory authorities have reams of information and guidance on identifying hazards, as well as assessing and controlling risk.

But the unfortunate reality is that insurance claims relating to slips and trips are still very common, says Steadfast Broker Technical Manager Michael White.

“Every business has an exposure to them, even home businesses,” he says.

“But obviously some businesses have a greater exposure than others – shopping centres, hotels or anywhere else there's a lot of people going through, and any business where there are food stuffs that might be spilled on the floor.”

2. Record your actions

Whether you take steps to eliminate a hazard, isolate it, or put engineering or administrative controls in place, record what you've done to prevent a slip or trip occurring. This should include keeping regular cleaning logs.

“The trouble with a lot of slip and trip insurance claims is that if somebody says 'I fell over on a piece of banana skin that somebody dropped on the floor', there is generally no record of the banana skin actually existing,” White says.

“Which means there is no record that the banana skin hadn’t been sitting on the floor for a week. So your records should be able to prove you have a strict regime in place to manage risks.”

3. Approach the potential claimant

If someone does take a fall on your premises and is not seriously injured, it can pay to be proactive.

“A lot of businesses will speak to a potential claimant who’s had a minor incident and say 'we will pay your medical expenses' or 'we'll give you a $100 gift voucher', or take some other step to assuage their feelings,” White says.

4. Record the incident

You may be legally required to record and report an incident on your premises. To find out what your obligations are, consult your local workplace health and safety authority.

Regardless of your legal obligations, it's wise to keep your own records of any incident. At a minimum, include the name, address and age of the injured person, as well as the time, date, nature and cause of the injury.

5. Insure against costs

The reality is, slips and trips are common and the consequences can be significant.

“There are two issues – there's the compensation and the legal costs of defence,” White says.
“And there can be a very large amount of money involved in both.”

Having an appropriate public liability insurance policy in place can help your business meet these costs.

Source: Steadfast Well Covered

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PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE

At Publicliabilitycomparison.com.au we quote broadform liability cover, this covers your business against claims for personal injury to another person (other than employees) or damage to property owned or controlled by someone else, or advertising liability. Property damage, personal injury or advertising liability which gives rise to legal liability must happen during the period of insurance and be caused by an occurrence in connection with your business activities, Broadform also cover product liability.

General Advice

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

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What is a drivers risk extension?

What is a drivers risk extension?

If as part of your business you or your staff drive or test drive client cars it's worth checking your insurance policy to ensure that you have what's called the motor trade extension or the "drivers risk extension".

Although a standard public liability policy includes damage that you cause to other peoples’ property, this does not extend to damage that you cause to a client’s vehicle whilst driving it. If you ever drive your clients’ vehicles, you should also include the driving risk extension in your public liability policy.

Damage to or theft of a customer's vehicle that is your care custody and control while road testing is a major risk, it's likely that in the event of an accident, your clients' insurer we'll sue your business for the resulting damage or loss.

There is also a risk of being sued, in the event that you were one of your staff injure somebody while on that test drive or moving the vehicle around.

Who should consider a drivers risk extension?

This is not just mechanics, panel beaters, truck repairers, but also car groomers, valet car parking etc.

You may also have extended your risk by offering clients a courtesy vehicle and you should check to ensure that the cover on the car includes the person driving the vehicle and guard against you been sued by any damage of that they do.

So remember claims as a result of injury or damage, in a vehicle is most likely to be excluded under normal public liability policies if you are unsure speak to a broker ask him to review your policy and your requirements.

Note: This cover may not extend to claims as a result of faulty workmanship if you feel this may be a risk once again you should talk to a broker.

Talk to a broker

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Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

 

What is an efficacy exclusion in a product liability insurance policy?

What is an efficacy exclusion

‘Efficacy - the failure of any product to correctly fulfil its intended use or function and/or meet the level of performance, quality, fitness or durability warranted or represented by the insured’

Product Liability Insurance is not a Manufacturers Guarantee Insurance

The policy is there to cover injury or property damage caused by the product, not if it has failed to deliver the results. Products Liability is not intended to be a "Manufacturers Guarantee"

Insurers generally add this exclusion with occupations that manufacture goods such as:

  • cosmetics manufacturers
  • consulting
  • health product manufacturers
  • medical supplies manufacturers
  • security & telecommunications system installations
  • and even trades such as waterproofing.

It is also a common exclusion for businesses that import products, as Australian insurers see this business type as manufacturers.

Check with your broker to discuss the limitations of a policy that includes an efficacy exclusion

If you are still unsure, talk to our team on 1300 046 787, to discuss your requirement.

Read More: High Court holds insurer cannot rely on an ‘efficacy’ exclusion clause

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Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

The chairs that could cost your business three hundred thousand dollars

Business discussions that could cost your business

Stephen Sloan insurance broker with Insure 247 urges businesses to consider that it's often the small things that can cost your business a lot of money.

could cost your business

In a recent case in the New South Wales District Court, Kmart Australia was  made to pay compensation when an $8 plastic domestic use only chair collapsed when I client sat on it.

Awarded more than $300,000

According to the SMH*

Ms Lewis suffered permanent damage to her lower back, right buttock, thigh, and knee among other injuries.

She was awarded more than $300,000 in damages.

In making her decision to award Ms Lewis the sum, Judge Gibson noted that Kmart had breached its duty of care.

"To keep the photo lab (and its income) flowing, Kmart and its staff allowed the development of a haphazard system of customers taking chairs for sale in other departments (itself a breach of store policy) for use in circumstances where those chairs were unsuitable to the point of being dangerous," she said.

"I am satisfied that the plaintiff has established breach of duty of care. The defendant's failure to provide adequate seating for its customers in the photo lab, training for its staff and regulation of equipment use all play a role in relation to the circumstances of the accident."

Public Liability Insurance Offers Protection

Broker Stephen Sloan explains "Public Liability Insurance cover can protect the business owner where it is found to be negligent. It will also offer some protection for the high legal cost of defending such events.

Going without public liability cover may save you money spent on premiums, however in the event of a claim that saving may cost you your business.

Does Your Business Have A Plan?

It is not that anyone at Kmart intended for the client to get hurt and at no stage did the management of Kmart have any actual involvement in the actions that lead to the injury, however, they do need a system for training for their staff and the regulation of equipment, does your business do that?

It's also worth considering a risk mitigation when purchasing items used by the public or your staff, consider the use and consider is it appropriate for the intended use.

More Information

Sole Trader To A Company Does my Policy Cover Me?

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Sole Trader To A Company Does my Policy Cover Me?

If you are still unsure, talk to our team on 1300 046 787, to discuss your requirement.

PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPARED

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Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

Source *Sydney Morning Herald