Author Topic: Club Huts  (Read 1087 times)

Offline Bob Mehew

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Club Huts
« on: April 06, 2020, 09:27:27 am »
Just in case, please see https://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php item on club huts from our insurers.  Apologies if it has been issued directly.  Note however, one could loose one's job if you do and check given https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52177171 but the mail redirect point can be done away from the hut.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 12:17:24 pm »
Hi bob, I have been in touch with howdens who provide our insurance at the start of last week, in their risk document about 4 clicks away from your link it talks about daily checks on the building.

I pointed out to the SPT team that this was not a usual requirement given the nature of our policy, they asked me to forward on the document where I saw daily as being the advertised checking period.

At this point they said they would be back in touch, as yet nothing.

What they said on the phone was “that doesn’t sound quite right” as your policy is in a 30day unoccupancy clause. “We have extended this 30day clause to 90days, have you not been told”

Irrespective of the clause of unoccupancy it it the regularity of checks which they are not providing an answer. Presumably because providing a direct answer to check on the hut or not puts them under liability to their clients (us) should we be approached and fined by the police.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 12:18:05 pm »
Should I text/call Howard?

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2020, 01:00:38 pm »
Yes as he is the liaison point.  I have not looked in detail at the policy in several years so will not comment.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 01:05:28 pm »
This whole subject seems a bit fuzzy, irrespective of Covid-19. Without wishing to go into the specifics of our particular policy too far, daily inspections of an unoccupied building seems to float rather too close to occupancy for my liking! And does merely driving past it count as an inspection? I guess also that if 'someone' is able to make an inspection in the normal course of their allowed activities (shopping, exercise), then that would satisfy all requirements. Of course it does mean that 'someone' must be very local, and have the authority of the club to be able to make that inspection, but whether it has to be an officer or even member, I have no idea? Obviously we're in a possibly unique position being in the centre of a village, rather than at the end of some remote farm track, so we are maybe considered less risk for insurers by being in 'full view' rather than in the middle of nowhere?

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 01:08:09 pm »
Thanks bob, just left Howard a message, without going too far into it the document is here https://view.publitas.com/howden-uk-group/risk-management-covid-19/page/13

And the particular part of page 13 is here regarding site checks.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2020, 01:27:35 pm »
Just been given the advice:
Gas off
Water off

Check at least once in the 30days the same as people with holiday homes are requested to. (Gas off, as the risk of explosion is greater than the inconvenience of mould)

(ironically 30days is probably the period that the Scottish health minister checked hers in).

Offline mikem

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2020, 04:04:45 pm »
Depends if hers is family only or rented out - in which case they'd normally have a local cleaner.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2020, 06:35:51 pm »
If your club premises is in a relatively remote location, as many caving and climbing club huts are, then it is impossible to for any member to legally visit to check the premises, given the current guidelines on where people may go to whilst taking their "daily exercise".

At the initial stage in the concerns about not using the club hut for recreation or visits, when we decided to close the place altogether, my own club had drawn up a check-list of items we needed to turn off and/or inspect, and individual members were going to drive out do this on a regular basis.  However, like many other clubs, none of our members live near enough to be able to do this as part of "exercise from home" so we are now not allowed to travel to the Hut to carry out any checks.

Not sure quite where this puts us in insurance terms.

Offline GarDouth

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2020, 07:02:09 pm »
I think it is perfectly reasonable for a hut warden to check their hut if required. The government guidance clearly states "only travel to work if you absolutely can not work from home", well the 'job' of a hut warden clearly can not be done from home. Other than a possible risk of having a car accident then I see no problem with one person travelling to check a hut then going straight home. Who would this be putting at risk?
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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2020, 08:18:38 pm »
I think it is perfectly reasonable for a hut warden to check their hut if required. The government guidance clearly states "only travel to work if you absolutely can not work from home", well the 'job' of a hut warden clearly can not be done from home.
The problem is that work is usually connected with a business and it might be held that a club & its hut is not a business.  Also the English Reg 5(3) states "...a person responsible for carrying on a business consisting of the provision of holiday accommodation, whether in a ...hostel..., must cease to carry on that business during the emergency period."  I suggest that means even if it is a business, then it has been told to shut down.  There are other considerations to be taken into account.  I have made a suggestion to Howard as Insurance Manager to follow up to try and get clarity on the situation. 

But the document put up by BCA states "Inspect regularly if travel allows.  Where this is not possible the inspections should be reinstated once travel restrictions are lifted."  So it recognises properties may not be checked because of the restrictions.

Other than a possible risk of having a car accident then I see no problem with one person travelling to check a hut then going straight home. Who would this be putting at risk?
You don't seem to get it.   :spank:  The journey might result in an accident which might then take up NHS resources at a time when they might well be overloaded.  Whilst normally the chance of all those things happening together are considered so small as to not be a matter of concern.  But in the midst of this pandemic, NHS resources are nearing overload so minimising the need for those resources for other reasons is being vigorously pushed by prohibiting unessential journeys.  The person at risk is the person you might just be keeping out of an Intensive Care bed because you are occupying it.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2020, 08:49:48 pm »
You could equally argue that if, through a lack of inspection, a serious problem arose, such as a fire, squatter gatherings, flooding, etc.,  then that would put emergency services at more risk, and in more danger of becoming a burden to the NHS.  There is low potential risk and danger everywhere, particularly in staying at home.  The likelihood of a car accident resulting in a hospital omission on the way to check a hut is tiny.  I think you could make a strong case to any police officer that it is a sensible approach to check a hut periodically as you would a business premises.  It has got to be up to the club to decide and I'm sure most will be able to find a willing local to help.

Offline GarDouth

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2020, 08:51:52 pm »
You don't seem to get it.   :spank:  The journey might result in an accident which might then take up NHS resources at a time when they might well be overloaded.  Whilst normally the chance of all those things happening together are considered so small as to not be a matter of concern.  But in the midst of this pandemic, NHS resources are nearing overload so minimising the need for those resources for other reasons is being vigorously pushed by prohibiting unessential journeys.  The person at risk is the person you might just be keeping out of an Intensive Care bed because you are occupying it.

So which is a higher risk factor?
- The hut exploding because there is a gas leak and the resulting 3 fire engines and 20 firefighters.
- A single person driving carefully on an empty road in good weather for a legitimate safety reason and potentially combined with their normal journey for essential goods?
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Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2020, 09:02:19 pm »
I would have thought that most caving club hut wardens either know neighbours or people who live locally (ie within walking distance or a 20 min bike ride) who could check up on a hut. Posting a set of keys to a local person so they can pop in as part of their daily exercise is a possible solution. There aren't that many really remote caving club huts in the UK.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2020, 09:30:45 pm »
I think the main problem with what I think are frankly ridiculous Risk Assessment posts is when 1M single people think it's OK to drive carefully down what they think is an empty road for what they selfishly think is a legitimate safety reason and then crash their cars.

They then end up occupying critical care beds leaving doctors, nurses and other essential workers, who are having to go to work with little or no PPE, catching Covid-19 and dying because the hospital is at capacity or they've run out of oxygen.

Mark



 
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 09:58:02 pm by Mark Wright »

Offline Roger W

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2020, 09:41:29 pm »
There was a story on the news of 3 or 4 people in a car driving 10 miles somewhere or other to take a dog for a walk.  Some kind of beetle or other insect flew into the car causing the driver to run off the road. People with minor injuries, ambulances called out and - by the look of it - the car written off.

"Just taking the dog for a walk.  No risk there, is there?"

Somewhere or other = near Thatcham on the B4009
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline darren

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2020, 10:12:15 pm »
Yet somehow drinking alcohol in amounts sufficient to put one at increased risk of injury seems to be a badge of honour to a lot of people on lockdown.

What you are doing is stupid and risks stretching the health service. What I am doing is obviously sensible.

I am obviously not driving to any huts, cave related or otherwise and keeping my alcohol consumption to 3 or 4 units twice a week maximum.
No, I'm playing all the right notes

Offline mikem

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2020, 10:27:00 pm »
Someone ended up in hospital this weekend after jumping over a ditch on their "exercise" time - they were somewhat off route from the footpath...

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2020, 01:09:51 pm »
I have just been reminded that BCA insurance does not cover hut building insurance (as in house insurance for your house burning down etc).  I gather it is common for building insurance to specify a limit on non occupancy.  However, there is also a fundamental principle in law that illegal instructions are not lawful. I wonder if the lock down requirements over ride the insurance company requirement.  The document seems to imply that might be so, assuming the club hut is not a business.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2020, 01:23:24 pm »
It's a business as far as the council is concerned when it's time to send out the rates bill.
It's also a business, if it has to manage a big enough turnover, in HMRC's eyes.

But surely to goodness, no decent insurance company would risk its reputation by not honouring its commitments, given the government's instructions to everyone? Bob does flag up a valuable point though; it's generally better to clarify such things with one's own insurance company before having to make a claim.

Offline DavidGibson

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2020, 03:07:29 pm »
There was a story on the news of 3 or 4 people in a car driving 10 miles somewhere or other to take a dog for a walk.  Some kind of beetle or other insect flew into the car causing the driver to run off the road. People with minor injuries, ambulances called out and - by the look of it - the car written off.

"Just taking the dog for a walk.  No risk there, is there?"

Somewhere or other = near Thatcham on the B4009

Yup. Google "near Thatcham on the B4009"  :-)
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: Club Huts
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2020, 05:11:40 pm »
I have just been reminded that BCA insurance does not cover hut building insurance.

For clarity, yes, main one paid by BCA does not, but the insurer who provides the BCA policy does also supply insurance to at least one of the BCA member huts directly.

 

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