Apr 17, 2019 | News
Inevitably, with the shooting season in full swing, there have already been reports of guns and beaters being shot. The sad reality is that all incidents will almost certainly have been avoidable.
In order to do everything possible to stop accidents happening and to mitigate the repercussions if they do, there are some vital measures to put in place.
The law dictates that if you have five employees or more you must have a documented health and safety policy and without one it is much harder to prove that you take it seriously. Many shoots of course do not have that many employees but in the event of an incident you are just as likely to be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive. If you can provide that you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid an accident you will more that likely avoid being taken to court and a health and safety policy is an essential line of that defence.
Insurers also quite rightly expect safety to be taken seriously and the responsibility lies firmly with the policyholder. All shoots should have a safety briefing at the beginning of the day with the ‘shoot captain’ providing that briefing. Guns should be asked to confirm that they hold a valid shotgun licence and public liability insurance. Some commercial shoots sensibly require the guns to sign a disclaimer to this effect.
There will be owners that do not have it noted on their motor insurance that they use a trailer to carry guns and beaters. Serious injury to both is just as likely to happen whilst they are riding on one and it is essential that you advise your insurer if a trailer is being used for this purpose and provide it with the following information: construction, type of seating, seating capacity, frequency of use and private or commercial shoot.
For those who enjoy it, a day’s shooting is a wonderful way to spend time in the countryside but it is vitally important that lack of safety awareness does not ruin it or have disastrous consequences.