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Old 10 May 2010, 08:58   #1
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Continuing Saga

I have been in contact with all named persons for this cover including my insurers through Porthcawl who as usual have been very helpful. I had a very interesting conversation regarding Insurance for third party liability which is why shore based cover is so high. Presently the law is in favour of the scumbags who steal from us. If one breaks into my store and trips and breaks a leg he can sue me! The insurers have seen a rise in similar claims which is why we all suffer.
I asked the reason for water based and shore based cover being different, and found that the cover on water is easier to argue as providing we as operators have done all that is reasonable to reduce risks and injuries (i.e full briefings, knowledge of any passengers with injuries) and the person ignored our briefings/advice then the claim can be argued and lowered/dismissed.

One horrendous story was someone trying to sue an operator for an injury some months ago. In all honesty I do not know all names of passengers so will be changing my policy with a list for each run/days out etc. This came about with another scumbag making a claim for an injury on a RIB and luckily although no records were kept of passengers when the claim went to hearing the operator found that they were off the water on that day due to strong winds.

The broker has sent me a word doc which I will adopt to use which covers most and will lst every person for every trip. I had adopted a similar one but it was not deatiled eneough and meant someone could have claimed when I had no full record.
Interesting developments again despite trying to cover all angles I again will be closing loopholes
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Old 10 May 2010, 11:02   #2
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Avoiding compensation claims

what is the criteria for making an injury claim on a rib........when does one become a scumbag? One of the reasons I walked away from that work, apart from better money elsewhere, was that I kept thining it was only a matter of time before I brought someone back injured.

One of the problems is it's sold as exiting which infers it's tuff stuff and not everybody is as tuff as they think they are.Particularly when it comes to back trauma

Sorry that John let you down, I don't like people I reccomend going flakey so I'll have a winge at him about that. But I've always found him on the case

might be worth starting up a new thread about passenger safety, claim avoidance etc.
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Old 10 May 2010, 11:41   #3
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Re keeping records. We make sure that everyone not only signs to say they have read our terms and conditions, but also then list each person on each trip. Painful I know, but worth it in the long run. I have been told to keep these records for 6 years ....
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Old 10 May 2010, 14:02   #4
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what is the criteria for making an injury claim on a rib........when does one become a scumbag? One of the reasons I walked away from that work, apart from better money elsewhere, was that I kept thining it was only a matter of time before I brought someone back injured.

One of the problems is it's sold as exiting which infers it's tuff stuff and not everybody is as tuff as they think they are.Particularly when it comes to back trauma

Sorry that John let you down, I don't like people I reccomend going flakey so I'll have a winge at him about that. But I've always found him on the case

might be worth starting up a new thread about passenger safety, claim avoidance etc.
Answering you about scumbag I suppose the time they choose to claim unfairly or nick from me, as for making a claim for injury whilst nicking off me I guess thats another fight!

The criteria I would hazard a gues is that if a passenger/client claims they have an injury as a result of our activity the door would open up to a claim. I even carry an injury report book just in case and ask if everyone is ok regularly. It seems overkill but worth the effort to ensure comfort and safety. The insurer stated that if a client ignored your instruction to sit a certain way and not grab a tube line (as happened in Ribcraft accident in Swansea) then their claim can be removed or reduced. All about being sensible and keeping an eye on everyone.

No worries about John I like referals as they are the best, same with our work.

I was regularly reading about others misfortunes on RYA site or MAIB and would change policies to meet new challenges. This latest list was one I had not kept despite getting signatures and as 250 states- keep for a long while. Useful idea from insurers includes the helm on the day and boat, all worth while and a constant review will always be done to ensure everyones safety and that I am not getting turned over by someone.
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Old 10 May 2010, 14:16   #5
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Re keeping records. We make sure that everyone not only signs to say they have read our terms and conditions, but also then list each person on each trip. Painful I know, but worth it in the long run. I have been told to keep these records for 6 years ....
Check how long it is that they can sue you for.

I seem to remember the time limit for court action for personal injury being somewhat longer than the Data Protection Act requirement to keep documentation.

It's a while back that I heard this so if it was true it may have changed by now.
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Old 10 May 2010, 15:21   #6
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Check how long it is that they can sue you for.

I seem to remember the time limit for court action for personal injury being somewhat longer than the Data Protection Act requirement to keep documentation.

It's a while back that I heard this so if it was true it may have changed by now.
Its generally 3 years from the accident, but if the person is under 18 at the time it will be their 21st birthday, you can also argue that at the time of the accident you were unaware of the injury / severity and then the 3 years would run from when you became are of it.
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Old 10 May 2010, 15:48   #7
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Its generally 3 years from the accident, but if the person is under 18 at the time it will be their 21st birthday, you can also argue that at the time of the accident you were unaware of the injury / severity and then the 3 years would run from when you became are of it.
That explains what happened to a friend of a friend.
A child ran out into a main road and went under the rear wheel of his trike.She was quite seriously injured.She sued him 10+ years later when she was 18.

Never did hear the outcome but he was facing bankruptcy because there was no proof of insurance and he was going to have to pay the whole lot himself.The insurance company had wiped the records and he didn't have his old policy document.
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Old 10 May 2010, 17:48   #8
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The criteria I would hazard a gues is that if a passenger/client claims they have an injury as a result of our activity the door would open up to a claim. I even carry an injury report book just in case and ask if everyone is ok regularly. It seems overkill but worth the effort to ensure comfort and safety. The insurer stated that if a client ignored your instruction to sit a certain way and not grab a tube line (as happened in Ribcraft accident in Swansea) then their claim can be removed or reduced. All about being sensible and keeping an eye on everyone.
I'm unawre of a Ribcraft accident in Swansea but I do know about the Celtic Pioneer incident in Cardiff, is that the one your referring to?

This is a quote from the report

After between 5 and 10 minutes the hands of the female passenger seated in the front row on the port side of the boat became wet and cold. onsequently, she found it difficult to maintain her grip and posture and had to steady herself by holding onto the rope attached to the buoyancy tube (Figure 2) with her left hand. The owner sensed that she was uncomfortable and instructed the skipper to stop. He then asked the passengers if they were okay and offered them the opportunity to change seats. The majority of passengers responded positively, and one opted to move from his seat at the rear of the boat to the vacant one positioned furthest forward. Several of the passengers did not feel comfortable but did not voice their concerns. The skipper and owner then assessed that everyone was okay, and continued with the trip.quote ends

I don't think that accident wa the pasengers fault at all and the MAIB certainly didn't come out that way. It's posible that the passenger was to much of a wuss to go on a rufty tufty rib ride and that has to be the skippers call surely.

To take your point if somebody blatently ignores or is unable to comply with the Skippers safety instructions, surely the Skipper takes them back to shore and puts them off the boat, i would think that failure to do this abrogates the duty of care the skipper and operating company has towards the passengers.?

re T & C's can people realy sign away their human rights? They obviously have a right not to be injured and I can see any terms and conditions circumventing that. Neither do I believe not puting an accident report in an accident book means you can't claim for an injury that might have been worse than you thought.

Go on Pollers get the pinking shears out and start a new thread
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Old 10 May 2010, 19:00   #9
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I'm unawre of a Ribcraft accident in Swansea but I do know about the Celtic Pioneer incident in Cardiff, is that the one your referring to?

Your right I was nearly at the right town
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Old 10 May 2010, 19:45   #10
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no wuries

there both in the best Country
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Old 10 May 2010, 22:32   #11
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I am not sure it is about human rights but you cannot exclude liability totally

With the benefit of certain reports it seems to me that offering rib rides is a no no particuarly re back poblems
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Old 10 May 2010, 22:52   #12
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With the benefit of certain reports it seems to me that offering rib rides is a no no particuarly re back poblems
Phil - I notice you are a lawyer. Your statement above doesn't surprise me based on this - but I have to say I always prefer lawyers who are able to balance the risks with the commercial and social realities of the world. Are they really a "no no", or actual "high risk activities". There is no reason not to offer or undertake high risk activities, simply that you need to make people aware of the risks and do everything you can to mitigate those risks. Skiing, mountainbiking, parachuting, rock climbing etc - are all (percieved as) high risk activities - but it doesn't stop people opperating viable businesses in these areas. RIB thrill rides are potentially in the same ball park.

The problem, which I think RW is alluding to, is:

(a) in a cash tight competitive business, can you afford to turn customers away, return to shore etc - whenever your skippers' gut feel is that this punter is not up to this ride.

(b) do customers really understand the activity and risk they are undertaking. Do they think that the "safety warnings" are all to keep lawyers and officials happy, rather than highlighting a real risk.

(c) could some of your participants be there under peer pressure, and less likely to highlight a concern / discomfort as a result.

However there may be a similar issue with your insurers: do they understand the risks you are intentionally exposing customers to as part of "experience" or do they think you are providing a sight seeing / ferry / seasafari service - because presumably if you talk about it more in those terms premiums are lower...
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Old 11 May 2010, 03:02   #13
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The problem, which I think RW is alluding to, is:

(a) in a cash tight competitive business, can you afford to turn customers away, return to shore etc - whenever your skippers' gut feel is that this punter is not up to this ride.

(b) do customers really understand the activity and risk they are undertaking. Do they think that the "safety warnings" are all to keep lawyers and officials happy, rather than highlighting a real risk.

(c) could some of your participants be there under peer pressure, and less likely to highlight a concern / discomfort as a result.

However there may be a similar issue with your insurers: do they understand the risks you are intentionally exposing customers to as part of "experience" or do they think you are providing a sight seeing / ferry / seasafari service - because presumably if you talk about it more in those terms premiums are lower...

I disagree with a and b. this isn't about economics (You can't put a price on safety) I think a passenger has a right to expect the skipper to offer them a safe trip even if it means throwing them off the boat at the nearest jetty if they have been naughty.

What if you let a porker like me on the boat and they get injured, would that be your liability for not refusing them a ride or the porker for being too heavy to handle the ride.

What medical or behavioural criteria stops some one from getting a rib ride or exonerates the operating company from injury liability arising from that ride.
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Old 11 May 2010, 05:15   #14
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Disclaimer

Thank you for the forum seperation, makes sense from shore based to this interest-

This is the format we use, with headed paper and the helm will gain a full list of everyone on each boat, I am aware other local operators have the same format and probably from the same insurer-

NOTICE to ALL Passengers
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY:-

You are to take part in a High Performance Powerboat Experience that carries a risk element.

We the undersigned agree to save harmless and keep indemnified xxxxxx and its servants, agents, crew or other individuals or bodies concerned with running or operating the xxxxxx power boats from and against all actions, claims, costs and expenses and demands in respect of myself\ ourselves or anyone connected with me \ us however caused arising out of or in connection with my taking part in the power boating activity AND I \ we hereby acknowledge that my\ our presence upon the said boat is entirely at my \our risk.

I\ We confirm that we have read and understand this notice and have been given the opportunity of asking any questions about the effect of it which have been explained to my\our satisfaction.

I have fully disclosed any medical conditions or injury that I have had during the past 10 years You could suffer injury if you have any of the following conditions heart or respiratory problems, any back or neck problems, diabetes, asthma or any other condition requiring regular medication or you are pregnant

Date Time Name Signature








Boat name- Time of departure:


Skipper: Signature:
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Old 11 May 2010, 06:01   #15
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Thank you for the forum seperation, makes sense from shore based to this interest-

This is the format we use, with headed paper and the helm will gain a full list of everyone on each boat, I am aware other local operators have the same format and probably from the same insurer-

NOTICE to ALL Passengers
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY:-

You are to take part in a High Performance Powerboat Experience that carries a risk element.

We the undersigned agree to save harmless and keep indemnified xxxxxx and its servants, agents, crew or other individuals or bodies concerned with running or operating the xxxxxx power boats from and against all actions, claims, costs and expenses and demands in respect of myself\ ourselves or anyone connected with me \ us however caused arising out of or in connection with my taking part in the power boating activity AND I \ we hereby acknowledge that my\ our presence upon the said boat is entirely at my \our risk.

I\ We confirm that we have read and understand this notice and have been given the opportunity of asking any questions about the effect of it which have been explained to my\our satisfaction.

I have fully disclosed any medical conditions or injury that I have had during the past 10 years You could suffer injury if you have any of the following conditions heart or respiratory problems, any back or neck problems, diabetes, asthma or any other condition requiring regular medication or you are pregnant

Date Time Name Signature








Boat name- Time of departure:


Skipper: Signature:
Apart from the above do you have to prepare a risk assessment for each trip .?

Or just a general risk assessment that can be accessed by anybody at any time on request.

Also method statements for any event.??

To me it looks like your valued customer would have signed a sort of omission of liability but not knowing any of the risks or indeed methods of rescue for one instance.



As it seems to me even by signing the above well written paper there is still a possibly that one could still sue you.

However a small few lines on your document stating a full risk and method statement has been prepared and is available for your viewing.

Will I am sure cover you.

But with out a risk and method statement no risks are outlined also methods like rescue are NOT outlined either.
So your customer would have signed a sort of omission of liability but not knowing any of the risks or indeed methods of rescue for one instance.

It's a great case to argue in a court of law. And as myself a person that used to deal with stuff like this on a daily basis I think you could loose.
Worth checking out.

Robert
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Old 11 May 2010, 06:06   #16
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Thank you for the forum seperation, makes sense from shore based to this interest-

This is the format we use, with headed paper and the helm will gain a full list of everyone on each boat, I am aware other local operators have the same format and probably from the same insurer-

NOTICE to ALL Passengers
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY:-

You are to take part in a High Performance Powerboat Experience that carries a risk element.

We the undersigned agree to save harmless and keep indemnified xxxxxx and its servants, agents, crew or other individuals or bodies concerned with running or operating the xxxxxx power boats from and against all actions, claims, costs and expenses and demands in respect of myself\ ourselves or anyone connected with me \ us however caused arising out of or in connection with my taking part in the power boating activity AND I \ we hereby acknowledge that my\ our presence upon the said boat is entirely at my \our risk.

I\ We confirm that we have read and understand this notice and have been given the opportunity of asking any questions about the effect of it which have been explained to my\our satisfaction.

I have fully disclosed any medical conditions or injury that I have had during the past 10 years You could suffer injury if you have any of the following conditions heart or respiratory problems, any back or neck problems, diabetes, asthma or any other condition requiring regular medication or you are pregnant

Date Time Name Signature








Boat name- Time of departure:


Skipper: Signature:
Apart from the above do you have to prepare a risk assessment for each trip .?

Or just a general risk assessment that can be accessed by anybody at any time on request.

Also method statements for any event.??


As it seems to me even by signing the above well written paper there is still a possibly that one could still sue you.

However a small few lines on your document stating a full risk and method statement has been prepared and is available for your viewing.

Will I am sure cover you.

But with out a risk and method statement no risks are outlined also methods like rescue are NOT outlined either.
So your customer would have signed a sort of omission of liability but not knowing any of the risks or indeed methods of rescue for one instance.

But would have signed anything due to the excitement due to come.

It's a great case to argue in a court of law. And as myself a person that used to deal with stuff like this on a daily basis I think you could loose.
Worth checking out.

Robert
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Old 11 May 2010, 06:27   #17
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Robert, In answer to the main question , yes I have a full risk assessment policy and health and safety at work doc which all crews have to understand and follow. I can presently send clients these docs if requested but will look at your example of having a copy available to view and add the line about these assessments-
Each helm has the overiding responsibilty to ensure they know the days activities and plans/weather, plan a route and also a secondary. We review everyone elses accidents via MAIB and look at ways to reduce risk.
One simple method is to monitor your clients and ensure we let them know if we see larger waves/wake, and they are all briefed about their personal lifejackets and also proceedures for MOB and recovery, where all equipment is. We also try to find someone who will activate DSC should the helm be unable to do so.

No simple answer to any of this as there is risk attached, but by being responsible for our activities we always do what we can to ensure safety. We do not go out just to "blast" about and frighten anyone. I wont people to enjoy themselves and come back.

This also about running events that have risk but we have done all we can to identify all risk and looked at how to remove this risk or lower the risk. Each day will be different due to weather and sea conditions. We are about mitigating the dangers/risks and the last thing I wont to do is run a paper trail ticking boxes
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Old 11 May 2010, 06:36   #18
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Robert, In answer to the main question , yes I have a full risk assessment policy and health and safety at work doc which all crews have to understand and follow. I can presently send clients these docs if requested but will look at your example of having a copy available to view and add the line about these assessments-
Each helm has the overiding responsibilty to ensure they know the days activities and plans/weather, plan a route and also a secondary. We review everyone elses accidents via MAIB and look at ways to reduce risk.
One simple method is to monitor your clients and ensure we let them know if we see larger waves/wake, and they are all briefed about their personal lifejackets and also proceedures for MOB and recovery, where all equipment is. We also try to find someone who will activate DSC should the helm be unable to do so.

No simple answer to any of this as there is risk attached, but by being responsible for our activities we always do what we can to ensure safety. We do not go out just to "blast" about and frighten anyone. I wont people to enjoy themselves and come back.
I have no doubts in anybody's ability to run there company I was really just suggesting that
the more paperwork one has the less chance of claims made against one.
No way was I having a go at anybody.
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Old 11 May 2010, 07:43   #19
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I disagree with a and b. this isn't about economics (You can't put a price on safety) I think a passenger has a right to expect the skipper to offer them a safe trip even if it means throwing them off the boat at the nearest jetty if they have been naughty.

What if you let a porker like me on the boat and they get injured, would that be your liability for not refusing them a ride or the porker for being too heavy to handle the ride.

What medical or behavioural criteria stops some one from getting a rib ride or exonerates the operating company from injury liability arising from that ride.
Stu - I agree but that decision is easy to make sitting here pontificating. It is at best a subjective decision, and one that I suspect becomes less clear when its been p**sing down all season and so turnover is down, your worried about paying wages this week and a fat bloke turns up with fifty quid in his hand.

You disagreed with (b) but didn't explain why (it was a question so not sure how you can disagree with it). Do you think that people walking down the pontoon towards a "RIB RIDE" experience really believe that they are undertaking a high risk activity? I'm not asking if they should understand it, I'm asking if they do understand it at most places. How about when the whole boat is chartered - does everyone understand it or perhaps just the guy who booked it?

===

C2 - if you or any of your competitors asked me to sign that statement I'd be walking away. Since you can't contract out of your liabilities its a bit pointless anyway. But the message it sends is 'if we hurt you out there that is your fault not ours'. You are controlling the boat; you are deciding if the conditions are safe; you are briefing people. It is your responsibility.

On top of which by the time someone makes it through the second sentence they are asleep with legal waffle and aren't actually reading what it says any more. The key points about back injury pregnancy etc are lost at the bottom...

Some thoughts - whilst it says it is high risk - it doesn't explain the likely risks e.g. high g-forces, twists turns, acceleration, deceleration, jumps. Ask the layman walking down the pontoon what the risk of injury are on the RIB ride and I'll bet he thinks it is sinking / falling overboard.

Can you explain how a person with diabetes is more likely to become injured on your boat than a non-diabetic person as a result of your activity.
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Old 11 May 2010, 07:48   #20
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It strikes me yet again, that this forum has a wealth of expertise and talent.

In order to protect both customers and the operators, could "we" come up with a specimin document that gives protection for both. Whilst I am sure operators have their own documents, we wont always see it from either the expert legal side or necessarily the customers.

I/we are not after something for nothing, I just think that from the sensible comments made so far and the diverse backgrounds of the members, a top class document could be produced that could be a shinning light for the industry.

OK, so now shoot me down ....

Steve
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