Each fall as the weather starts to change we see many special events planned for the months ahead that may bring additional exposures to your entity. Harvest festivals, Oktoberfest, fairs, carnivals, parades, carriage rides, mazes, hay rides and even the arrival of Santa in his sleigh are just some of the more popular events we see each year. In order to balance the hazards that these functions bring into your entity you need an evaluation process to help identify these hazards and what your risk manager can control.
Unfortunately, along with this the number of events hosted by public entities (or on their property) the risk of property damage, injury to attendees, and contractual nightmares increases significantly. Risk management employees are then charged with the task of protecting the integrity of their property and casualty insurance program, which can be challenging even for the most experienced risk manager.
Establishing your risk control procedures for special events may include, but is not limited to:
- Establishing an event point-of-contact;
- Creating a facilities use form to be utilized when someone wants to use an entity facility;
- Providing public works assistance: including barricades for crowd control and trash removal;
- Screening volunteers and collecting hold harmless agreements;
- Preventing slip, trip, and fall hazards in high traffic areas;
- Instituting inclement weather procedures;
- Gathering Certificates of Insurance for contractors, vendors and amusement rides;
- Coordinating with law enforcement for traffic control and possibly officers on site; and
- Maintaining Liquor Liability standards; if alcohol is provided it should be stringently managed with server training, manager guidelines and responsibilities.
By creating a review process to screen applicants wishing to host events you can filter out the things that will unnecessarily expose your public entity’s property during a special event. Placing parameters around the application process is by no means intended to hinder residents and local businesses from hosting the events and enjoying the fall weather but is intended to protect local government agencies from unnecessary exposures.
See what additional protection features you may want to build into your special events insurance program here: “The Specialized Risks of Special Events,” written by Bradley York, Insurance Journal. April 2014.
If you need assistance developing your special events program, or would like additional information on the topics discussed, please contact OBGRRiskControl@OneBeaconGov.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the OBGR blog so that you will be the first to know when we post a new industry tip! To subscribe simply input your email in the “subscribe by email” form on the right sidebar of this page.