One bad apple...!

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When I worked in a marketing agency we had a brief to promote the difference between one insurance offer and another. Highlighting the difference between what effectively seems the same cover is a typical problem. The brand owners have to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Amongst many graphic illustrations presented was a lovely shot of a large, beautifully formed delicious apple. Utterly desirable. Until viewing the other half of the apple. It was half eaten, dried out, brown and riddled with maggots. Frankly, it turned the stomach.

I loved the imagery. That is what insurance is when you get down to the bones of it. Brilliantly presented and fit for purpose on the outside but you need to look around the back and peek inside to see if it really is as desirable as originally thought.

Life insurance, car insurance, home insurance. In today’s market, only the naïve take the policy on offer on how good it looks.

Risk management. Why bother?

You don’t buy car insurance because you think you are going to crash your car ! a) You buy it because someone else may crash into you. (b) Or your car may be damaged whilst it is parked. (c) Or it may be stolen by someone who has little respect for your property. (d) And because it's the law.

What has this to do with event employees?

You don’t manage risk because you think you or your employees are going to be the person to cause an incident.

(a) You do it because someone else may `crash' into your event. A supplier, a client or a visitor. You may share liability if something happens at your event, even if the injured party is not a direct employee.

How to safely plan a corporate golf day

Row of golf bags
It may seem ridiculously simple. It is, after all, just a game between like-minded individuals. But the fact is you will be inviting your clients, colleagues and suppliers. If one of these invited guests is injured at your event, they may pursue your business, or another of your guests for compensation – or both. If you do not have the policies and paperwork in place to show that you have done all that is reasonably practicable in protecting your guests at your event, the claim for compensation could be very high. A court case in April 1998 paid out £87,000 for a head injury. According to Golfplan Insurance, 12,000 injuries a year are recorded. 3,530 are head injuries.

So in keeping with the golf theme, here are 18 tips to keep your event on par. (Sorry!).

Is procurement just ticking the box?

To ensure that you and your business are not exposed to risk by your suppliers you should undertake a regular audit of their knowledge and, importantly, their know-how. Don't assume they are compliant just because they appear to be.

How to ensure your suppliers are compliant.

Take the necessary steps to ensure those suppliers that work with you have sufficient skills and knowledge to do the job safely and without risks to health & safety, or data protection and so on. Clearly, the degree of competence required will depend on the work to be done.

Guilty! Unless innocence is proven.

Man in handcuffs
You are guilty - unless you can prove you are innocent. It is a fact of business life. And in business, it is the paper-trail that is going to help you prove your innocence. Disregard the paperwork, fail to complete it properly or at all, or consider it an irrelevance and you may find yourself being unable to defend your actions. This is equally true when planning events.

If something happens at your event it is a guarantee that you will be asked for the paperwork to prove it was not your fault. Even if you swear it was not your fault, you will have to prove it. You will be asked to prove that certain conversations took place. That the budget allocation was agreed. That you undertook risk assessments, agreed insurance requirements, vetted suppliers, responded appropriately regarding disability discrimination and so on. If you are lucky you will only have to prove it to your board of Directors. If unlucky, you will have to prove it in a law court.

How to shoot someone out of a cannon?

Stop now hand signal.
So you don’t actually want to shoot someone out of a cannon but if you plan things properly you could. It’s the planning part that the authorities will be looking for if it goes wrong. Not whether the concept was appropriate.

The law wants responsible people in your business to assess reasonably foreseeable risks from your activities and to put in place control measures that will reduce the risks - as far as is reasonably practicable.

So if you simply persuaded a colleague to slip into a cannon and you lit the fuse without considering the foreseeable risks then it is likely that (a) the individual shot from the cannon would be hurt and (b) you and/or your business would be prosecuted. Understandably so.

Event Training

We call it the Knowledge Audit. Critical must-know information when planning and managing events. A training course. An assessment tool. A knowledge audit. If you're not sure what you don't know then this will probably be the best training investment you have ever made. Priced from £25.  Find out more »

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