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Public Liability Issues for the Self Employed

Public liability is when a member of the public or a person not employed by you is injured through your work or the negligence of one of your staff. This puts you at risk of a claim by the injured party and also, if you or any of your employees cause damage to a property while performing work. Public liability insurance can cover you for these things.

The Role of Public Liability Insurance

It isn't a legal requirement to have public liability insurance, but it can prevent your business from going under following a large claim. Also, clients can often be keen for you to have it as part of your contract and it is easy enough to obtain from a broker, who must be informed at length about the risks arising from your work to assign a suitable policy.

However, public liability should still be avoided even when you do have insurance as prosecutions and fines can still be imposed as well as damage to your reputation, which cannot be covered by an insurance policy.

Protecting Your Business against Liability Claims

Slips and Trips make up the largest amount of claims with more injuries in this area than any other. If you have premises for work that are accessible to people other than yourself visiting the site, then you need to make sure there as few risks as possible of visitors injuring themselves. Think about:

The condition and lighting of the access to your premises
Do weather conditions affect the access throughout the year?
Are the interior surfaces in good condition and free from potential trip and slip hazards?
If the work you are undertaking takes place on somebody else's property are you aware of keeping their surfaces free from hazards?
Try to carry out work that might create hazards when there aren't people around.
Use signs or barriers to prevent people approaching

Employees and their responsibilities

Civil Liability

Employees can make you liable for the injury or damage to others while working for you through vicarious liability and even where an employee has been working in a way that you have forbidden. The person injured can sue you for compensation.

Criminal Liability

There is always a danger of prosecution on top of being sued if somebody working for you has failed to comply with the law or created a risk where undertaking a work task. Therefore, it is very important to clearly communicate the safety rules you expect employees to follow and monitor their activities for any risks they create.

Get a Quote for Public Liability Insurance »

For a full and free assessment of your business Insurance requirements call our commercial Insurance specialists on 0800 021 4504. We cover most trades and professions, get a high risk liability insurance quote »Flint Insurance Partners

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