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Bolts and Insurance

langcliffe

Well-known member
What's the other alternative to Bar Pot Big Pitch?

The route down Small Mammal Pot, through to Whitehall, and round to South East Aven is the Bar Pot Alternative.

CNCC were referring to the South East Aven pitch as the Bar Pot Big Pitch alternative.

CPC referred at the last winch meet to the alternative hang down the Bar Pot main pitch as the Bar Pot Big Pitch alternative. Hence my reluctance to make any assumptions about what exactly the CNCC were referring to.
 
Bar Pot Alternative is a great ROUTE in (and out), which consists of three pitches....

To my mind... South East Aven (a great PITCH) is the alternative to Bar Pot Big Pitch . Trouble is that the pitch sometimes acquires the whole itinerary's name, even if done after a traditional Bar Pot approach.

The Bar Pot Big Pitch Alternative should be in Bar Pot rather than South East Aven.

These pitches often cause muddles....
Perhaps....for the actual pitches ... South East Aven, Bar Pot, and Bar Pot Split Pitch would make life easier

Then all we have to do is remember that Small Mammal is one pitch and Flowstone is separate.

Anyway, must go - I've got some jelly that needs nailing to a wall.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Fair enough if that's what it says. I don't for one minute think the insurers would actually pay out for an anchor related claim unless we can demonstrate it was installed competently and correctly (via the approved scheme or otherwise), but that is for a real claim to test in future.
I basically agree with everything in your post (that I haven't quoted here). I guess a regional council has some vague responsibility for caving in general in a region, but that doesn't extend to creating topos with approved and particularly not other people's anchors (although I would like there to be a requirement under the BCA anchor policy that approved anchors get topos drawn up, which most regional councils obviously already do).

I would point out though that the insurance will never pay out for an anchor related claim if it *was* demonstrated that the anchors were installed competently and correctly, because such a claim would not succeed and thus there would be nothing to pay!
The insurance would *only* pay out, I think, if there was negligence on your part (but not deliberate or reckless negligence). The purpose of such public liability cover is that, should you be negligent, get sued and owe someone compensation, the insurers will cover it (unless the claim is covered by an explicit exclusion in the policy). This is slightly complicated by the fact that insurers may, depending on the T&C's, choose to settle rather than actually fight the court case that would determine if any compensation was owed.

TLDR: Public liability cover insures against your negligence.

I would also note that if liability for other people's anchors was an issue, every single sport climbing guidebook would be in trouble...

PS many thanks to all the people who spend their time drawing up topos!
 

Fjell

Well-known member
What level of proof would be required to confirm I had placed a particular bolt that had failed. I could just deny placing it. Much easier.

BCA also state, "The BCA recognises that caving, cave diving and mine exploration are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."

That statement alongside the requirement for each individual to check any anchors before using them, and the fact that standard practice is to always use two, places a significant onus on the user. There is really no way any insurer is going to pay out on a claim.
You are addressing whether a claim will succeed (very low), not the fact you got sued. If the court finds against you then third party insurance pays your bill, including for some expensive lawyers. They don’t get to disagree with the court, so they will want to win if millions are at stake (as in the BMC case).

However, I have now bothered to read the policy again. It’s a bit meandering because it covers so many things - (both leisure and professional, clubs and individuals. Assuming an individual is covered under the ”public and products” section then it is clear you have third party cover. The only exclusion is for deliberate and reckless acts, in which case you might have other, more pressing, legal problems. So woeful negligence is covered, but not electrifying the gate to your favourite cave.

Some of the woolly statements in the General Conditions really relate to BCA themselves as the policy holder (misrepresenting the risk etc). You need to check the specific schedule, which I assume to be as above. If I’m wrong I wouldn’t mind knowing.
 

Steve Clark

Well-known member
I think it's a bit of a shame that there needs to be convoluted explanations or reading between the lines about fixed aids (navigational marker / bat roost etc.). More so when it actually affects what gear you bring with you.

Aquamole for example. A group from our club were planning to go the other day and came to get some gear from the shed. (They never actually went down and went to Yordas instead because someone forgot their jammers, but that's another story....) If you follow the CNCC route description & topo, it suggests a rope-protector is useful for the entrance pitch. No mention of the convenient scaffold bar, where taking a sling to re-belay off the bar would be nice. Avoiding the rope protector issue entirely.

Looking at the entrance photo on the CNCC aquamole page, it shows a closed lid and no bar. If you look at the photo in this thread (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?threads/aquamole-pot-entrance.13617/) it's nice and obvious there's been a bar for 10 years. Maybe they could put that photo on the CNCC page, so even if people aren't comfortable adding the actual bar to the description & topo they could see it on the photo. I haven't got NC3 to hand, maybe it's described in there anyway.

It seems odd that this bar isn't included, but the 100+ scaffold tubes in Notts 2 are described as anengineering masterpiece climbable descent route with a confident "No Tackle Required", "Consider belay rope"

Please don't take this as criticism, the CNCC topos and route descriptions are superb. Particularly in NC1 & 2 areas where the guides are out of print. It just takes a bit of interpretation sometimes. Maybe that's for the best and you soon get used to it with experience.

It all just seems a lot of work and words for "Caving is potentially dangerous, use your judgement."

No one bats an eyelid when the BMC publishes a climbing guidebook that says "Superb route, 3 stars, bold, protected by a single poor peg."
 

mikem

Well-known member
It all depends when & by whom the topos were drawn.

So, what are you going to do if the scaff bar isn't there / useable? You're far more likely to have a spare sling than a rope protector...
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
The misquote from Northern Caves should suffice: "This rigging guide is intended as guidance for the wise, not the obedience of fools".
 

MarkS

Moderator
I think it's a bit of a shame that there needs to be convoluted explanations or reading between the lines about fixed aids (navigational marker / bat roost etc.). More so when it actually affects what gear you bring with you.

Aquamole for example. A group from our club were planning to go the other day and came to get some gear from the shed. (They never actually went down and went to Yordas instead because someone forgot their jammers, but that's another story....) If you follow the CNCC route description & topo, it suggests a rope-protector is useful for the entrance pitch. No mention of the convenient scaffold bar, where taking a sling to re-belay off the bar would be nice. Avoiding the rope protector issue entirely.

Looking at the entrance photo on the CNCC aquamole page, it shows a closed lid and no bar. If you look at the photo in this thread (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?threads/aquamole-pot-entrance.13617/) it's nice and obvious there's been a bar for 10 years. Maybe they could put that photo on the CNCC page, so even if people aren't comfortable adding the actual bar to the description & topo they could see it on the photo. I haven't got NC3 to hand, maybe it's described in there anyway.

It seems odd that this bar isn't included, but the 100+ scaffold tubes in Notts 2 are described as anengineering masterpiece climbable descent route with a confident "No Tackle Required", "Consider belay rope"

Please don't take this as criticism, the CNCC topos and route descriptions are superb. Particularly in NC1 & 2 areas where the guides are out of print. It just takes a bit of interpretation sometimes. Maybe that's for the best and you soon get used to it with experience.

It all just seems a lot of work and words for "Caving is potentially dangerous, use your judgement."

No one bats an eyelid when the BMC publishes a climbing guidebook that says "Superb route, 3 stars, bold, protected by a single poor peg."
I don't think this is a policy thing at all since a scaffold pole is shown on the Stream Passage Pot topo. Have you reported it as an error/omission on the CNCC website?
 

FionaH

Member
Aquamole for example. A group from our club were planning to go the other day and came to get some gear from the shed. (They never actually went down and went to Yordas instead because someone forgot their jammers, but that's another story....) If you follow the CNCC route description & topo, it suggests a rope-protector is useful for the entrance pitch. No mention of the convenient scaffold bar, where taking a sling to re-belay off the bar would be nice. Avoiding the rope protector issue entirely.

Looking at the entrance photo on the CNCC aquamole page, it shows a closed lid and no bar. If you look at the photo in this thread (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?threads/aquamole-pot-entrance.13617/) it's nice and obvious there's been a bar for 10 years. Maybe they could put that photo on the CNCC page, so even if people aren't comfortable adding the actual bar to the description & topo they could see it on the photo. I haven't got NC3 to hand, maybe it's described in there anyway.

Yes, I thought that when I went two weekends ago for the first time until I easily pushed it to one side. It's not fixed at all. I doubt (I think) that anyone would deliberately pick it up and chuck it down the hole, especially if a rope was rigged off it, but still. I'm aware the same thing could happen by untying the knot around the surface p-bolt, but... nah, I don't agree that the Aquamole scaffold bar should be included as an anchor when it's literally not attached to anything.
 

topcat

Active member
The scaff bar was solid. If it was in the topo it could have been reported and fixed whenit became came loose.

I raised the bar omission years ago, only to be told that it wasn't a CNCC item so they wouldn't include it. But now maybe they will.

It's all very silly......
 
What's the other alternative to Bar Pot Big Pitch?
There is a short pitch from where you duck under the rock arch to get to the shelf at the top of the big pitch (where the p hangers start). There are some solid bits of ironmongery which lead you to a y hang and a rebelay on quite a straightforward pitch. Nice for a change.
 

Ian P

Administrator
Staff member
Ref: Scaff bar on Aquamole Entrance.

The issue of it been loose has been reported through the “report a defective” anchor on the CNCC website by someone.

These reports automatically get sent out to the anchor installers for investigation / action. This particular issue has been “taken on” by one of the installers and will be fixed shortly.

Topos do get updated where required (Not sure why you got that response TC, I will look into this ).

ALL cavers are encouraged to use the simple “report buttons” on the CNCC website.

For defective anchors, hazards, topo errors etc:



Ian
 

alanw

Well-known member
What happens when you cease caving and your insurance lapses. Can you be sued for something you fitted in a cave in the past ?
That's the case for asbestos: even when companies are long out of business claims can still be made against their insurer.

 

Bob Mehew

Well-known member
That's the case for asbestos: even when companies are long out of business claims can still be made against their insurer.

Personal injury claims for compensation if a defective product or service causes damage to property, injury to a person or death typically must be made within three years of the event.


However, the limitations period may be extended if the damage only became evident much later. For example, an employee might have been exposed to a dangerous substance at work 30 years earlier, but it is only when cancer as a result of that exposure is diagnosed that limitations period starts.


from https://www.netlawman.co.uk/ia/time-limits-claims

But it seems unlikely that an injury would remain unrecognised for over 3 years so as to extend the period of liability. So the asbestos example is hardly likely to be relevant.

But for someone who places the anchor, yes it is feasible that a claim could be made against them an any time in the future up until their death as the liability from not having taken 'reasonable' care (or what ever threshold you want to use) in placing the anchor continues to exist. I think the liability only ceases when the estate of the dead anchor placer has gone through probate / letters of administration (that is roughly when the estate has been distributed to the beneficiaries).

Sorry Nick.
 

topcat

Active member
Can the bolter sue the injured party for using their bolt, and damaging it? And if it is deemed not to be their bolt (they paid for it....) then how can the injured party sue the bolter.?

It is all barmy.
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
So you rig off a bolt and it fails and you hurt yourself. How do you then go about identifying who placed the bolt? How do you evidence that it was placed negligently? How do you demonstrate that you used it correctly (if a single bolt failure results in a serious accident then that sounds like poor rigging)? How do you argue that you are entitled to expect it to be safe having no knowledge of when or how it was placed? This isn't a hand-rail in a public building, it's a piece of metalwork you've found in a hillside somewhere that you have to have rigging skills to use. Personally I think this is a non-issue as I can't imagine such a claim having any chance of success. Although, I am wholly unqualified to make that assessment.
 

Bob Mehew

Well-known member
Can the bolter sue the injured party for using their bolt, and damaging it? And if it is deemed not to be their bolt (they paid for it....) then how can the injured party sue the bolter.?

It is all barmy.
In theory yes, in practice no since the cost of the litigation would far exceed the cost of the anchor. You say "It is all barmy" but given a case where someone is disabled because someone else fell on them through being stupid, why shouldn't the disabled guy sue? The real problem with insurance is the stupid characters who try and sue for a broken fingernail or similar trivial harm.
Personally I think this is a non-issue as I can't imagine such a claim having any chance of success. Although, I am wholly unqualified to make that assessment.
That is a contributory reason as to why litigation is expensive; paying for the detective to track down the installer. Plus it is not just the anchor installer who could be exposed, claim lawyers will check out anyone who has a link to the event, even remote as the guy who ran the web site which mentioned the anchor which failed.
 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
Bob, here, demonstrates very well the point made in the early CNCC post on this matter,

"..... Statistically when you have a room full of people, you will have some people who take a more relaxed attitude to liability, and you will have others who will present the worst possible scenario.

This is one of the benefits of committees, as it brings together a wide variety of viewpoints. However, we have found that where liability is concerned, it often only takes a few people to explain worst-case scenarios, for these scenarios to then dominate the discussions and the minds of those involved."

The hard evidence is that there is no cause for concern. A quick review of 'all' the liability cases against the hundred or so bolt installers of the thousands of bolts of all types placed across the dales over fifty odd years would tell you that, erm...., there aren't any.

A better question is who benefits for scaremongering over liability matters in caving?
 
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