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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
Caithness Field Club - Insurance and Safety Changes
Your committee has been considering the point that the club has never carried insurance against harm befalling members while on outings; it took the view that members attended at their own risk.
Several factors argue against continuing along this road. There is the general acceptance in the area of leisure activities that those who organise the activities bear some degree of responsibility for the welfare of the attendees that cannot be dispelled by merely announcing that members attend at their own risk. There is the point that people have an increasing tendency to sue when harm is done to them. And there is legislation that has now been interpreted by the courts to the effect that members of the Field Club and the public must be treated as employees of the Field Club when they are doing anything that might be construed as "work" - such as setting up a projector for a talk or checking out the route for a walk.
So the committee has decided that it must carry an insurance that covers these points. It costs at least £1 per member to do this, so, regretfully the subscriptions will have to be increased to cover it. The committee will put this proposal to the AGM in April 2004.
The review of these matters has also brought into focus the point that the current provisions to ensure the safety of members and visitors during outings could be improved in line with modern practice. So henceforth leaders of outings will make a risk assessment of the route for the day and bring a few key points to the attention of the attendees at the start of the outing. I hope you will bear with us when we do this.
It has always been the case that there are some general rules about outings that members should bear in mind. These have been clarified and revised and , for the first time put into print. We ask you to bear them in mind and comply with them when on the outings.