TT Talk - Party time? Think time!
Hosting special events at your premises can be an effective means – particularly for ports – to engage positively with your local communities. This can create greater levels of transparency and improve common perceptions about your activities, as well as generate new income streams – all while serving to demonstrate a commitment towards social elements of an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy.
Whether the event be a regatta, fun run, other sports related, a music concert or exhibition, encouraging schools, colleges, and the general public to interact with your facility can be a positive undertaking on a number of levels. Apart from improving relationships generally, many have highlighted challenges associated with attracting the next generation into the industry, so opening the doors for example to a port area can provide opportunity to illustrate the many exciting career opportunities available.
Opening the doors...to a port area can provide opportunity to illustrate the many exciting career opportunities available.
Winning hearts and minds
Such events can assist in educating those who attend about your activities, what you do, why and the benefit to the local economy – which in many cases is significant. For ports, providing insight into the inner workings of the global supply chain and how a port operation is an integral node could inspire residents, who might otherwise view the port only as a nuisance in the context of increased industrial activity and traffic through the local hinterland.
Areas within ports, thus, are increasingly used to host events unconnected with normal operations. Whatever the event or initiative; , everybody involved will naturally want it to be a success and ensure that the public will enjoy it in safety and comfort.
The complexity of risks associated with hosting such events should not be underestimated. TT has recently revised its StopLoss guidance around this topic and would encourage any operator wishing to host an event to develop a greater understanding of the potential risks, helping to ensure that the event is a great success on all levels.
A first step in assessing the risk is to engage with your insurance broker and/or insurer to enquire whether your current policy covers such events. Your insurance cover may not automatically include your liability arising out of the staging of public events.
Engaging with the local authorities and expert planning companies to assess how many people may safely be accommodated in the intended space would be a prudent next step. Such parameters will be necessary when engaging with the event organiser who might have aspirations beyond a safe capacity.
Providing a positive and memorable experience will live long in the memory of the local community and will encourage future engagement. Prioritising safety of attendees will avoid the event being remembered for the wrong reasons.
Your standard trading conditions may be applicable, but due diligence around the appointment of contractors is a fundamental risk management tool. Employed effectively, such measures serve to mitigate risk and exposure to your business, and provide certainty of outcome and protect your business, regardless whether the aspiration is to host a public event or employ a specialist contactor to erect, perform an inspection or maintain equipment on your site.
The process of obtaining the information you require from an event organiser or contractor can often be fraught and can absorb a disproportionate amount of your valuable time. There can be numerous reasons for this, not least that your counterparty is likely unfamiliar with your operational environment, may not have a similar awareness and perception of risk, and may fail to appreciate why certain information is required.
Do not underestimate the value of ensuring that due diligence processes are complete and that you are in possession of all the information and documents your business processes require. The time and effort spent collating such information will be far outweighed if an incident were to occur and you discover, for example, that the event organiser does not hold sufficient insurance cover.
Do not underestimate the value of ensuring that due diligence processes are complete.
While not exhaustive, the below checklist outlines several items to verify with your counterparty prior to finalising a contract.
- What is the event?
- What task(s) do you require the event organiser to undertake?
- How long will their workers need to be on site?
- What areas of the facility need to be accessed?
- Will there be lone workers, people working at height or in enclosed spaces?
- Are you able to verify the identity of the contractor and the individuals you are dealing with?
- Are you satisfied that they have the necessary expertise?
- Can they provide evidence of training or /qualifications?
- Do they hold recognised industry accreditations?
- How long has the contractor been trading?
- Is there a credit risk?
- Are you able to develop an understanding of the contractor’s safety record?
- Where equipment will be used or erected on your site, is the contractor able to provide maintenance records?
- Are your standard trading conditions incorporated into the contract?
- Does the contract provide an acceptable Law and Jurisdiction clause?
- Does the contract clearly delineate the parties’ responsibilities?
- Clearly set out which liabilities rest with the contractor.
- Does the contract have a crisis management or emergency response provision (designated responsibilities if an incident occurs)?
- Check whether your business has liability insurance in place for the risks arising from the activity being considered.
- Check that any contractors have sufficient liability insurance coverage in place for the work to be undertaken (and validate the authenticity of any the documents).
- Does the policy meet the minimum level of cover you require?
- Does the policy include the specific activity to be undertaken?
- Is the current policy going to be valid during the entire period of activity?
The hosting of such events can be a valuable and enjoyable experience for all; careful planning and risk assessment will pay dividends in delivering success.
If you would like further information, or have any comments, please email us, or take this opportunity to forward to any others who you may feel would be interested.