Last Updated on July 19, 2012 by Mark Lavington
The old adage, “prevention is better than cure” is never truer than when applied to limiting the risk of slips and trips in your holiday home letting property. As holiday home insurance specialists we see public liability claims made by guests and occasionally employees all too often.
Slips and trips are one of the most common causes of of non-fatal major injuries to employees and they also account for over half of all reported accidents to members of the public.
Limiting the risk of slips and trips in your holiday home
All employers and anyone who is in control of premises visited regularly by members of the public should assess and manage the risk of slips and trips at their premises. Slips and trips can result in injuries which may lead to compensation awards that can often be substantial.
Health and Safety legislation affecting holiday home owners
All employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and also those not in their employment at their holiday home premises under the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. Subsequent regulations describe te duty to carry out risk assessments and set out specific responsibilities with respect to ensuring a safe work place.
Those in control of premises also have duties under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. This is defined as follows and clearly extends to control of slip and trip hazards:-
“A duty to take such care as in the circumstance of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.”
Key questions you should ask yourself about your holiday home
- Are the internal floor surfaces of your holiday home in good condition?
- Do you regularly inspect your floors to ensure that they remain in good condition? Have a procedure to ensure that damage is repaired promptly.
- Have you secured floor coverings such as rugs, mats and carpets?
- Do you have handrails securely fitted as an aid for climbing steps and stairs?
- Is your lighting fit for purpose?
- Have you installed suitable show screens or curtains to minimise water spillage on shower room or bathroom floors?
- Have you removed tripping hazards such as trailing cables?
- Are cleaning substances chosen to reduce risk of slippery surfaces?
- Are the external paths, driveways, patios and steps in good condition, free of defects such as unevan, loose or broken paving bricks, slabs or potholes?
- Do you have a regular cleaning rota to ensure that your paths are cleared of leaves, lichen and moss which can become slippery when wet?
Good holiday home housekeeping, risk assessments and key action steps
Good holiday home housekeeping is the first and the most important method of preventing falls due to slips and trips. Make it easy for your housekeeper and guests to report any defects within your holiday let and have them rectified as soon as possible. Without good housekeeping practices any other preventative measures will never be fully effective.
Risk assessments for holiday home slips and trips should be carried out to identify possible hazards.
- Look for slip and trip hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Consider the risks
- Are there suitable controls in place?
- If not, determine new/improved control and implement
- Record your findings as this goes a long way to demonstrate your positive attitude to Health & Safety in the event of a claim against you
- Review on a regular basis
Key action steps for holiday home owners
- Ensure that new flooring surfaces are installed so that they are, as far as is practicable, free from tripping and slipping hazards
- Conduct routine inspections to ensure that all surfaces are free from slip and trip hazards
- Ensure that rotine maintenance is carried out to remedy defects
- Implement a sound housekeeping programme
Preventing slips, trips and falls at work INDG 225 – Free
Workplace health, safety and welfare INDG 244 – Free Available from HSE Books
A quality holiday home insurance policy such as that offered by Boshers for UK holiday lets will include employers and public liability cover to indemnify you against your legal liability to pay damages and legal costs arising out of bodily injury to employees or accidental injury to guests or other visitors to your holiday let. However limiting the risk of slips and trips in your holiday home through prevention is always better than cure!
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For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:
- Click here if you require holiday let insurance for your annexe
- Cick here if you own a single furnished holiday letting home, cottage or apartment
- Click here if you own a listed holiday home or cottage complex
- Click here if you own a holiday cottage complex
Thank you for reading limiting the risks of slips and trips in your holiday home.
For further advice and information on specialist holiday home insurance for UK holiday let properties visit www.boshers.co.uk/holiday-home-insurance