Risk and Insurance
As an organiser you are responsible for making sure your event is safe and you have done all you can to minimise risk. The below points are measures you should look into to achieve this. We cannot offer legal advice, but this information is based on our collective experiences.
You must have a suitable insurance policy in place to protect the group and its committee members in the event of a claim being made against them. The cover will vary from group to group but if you are organising events, you will at least need public liability, product liability and employers’ liability to cover volunteers/staff. You may wish to work with an insurance broker as they can advise you on the most suitable cover for your group.
Before choosing a policy, make sure to read the terms and conditions of cover carefully. The insurer may require volunteers doing Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) to have certain qualifications or require your group to have certain policies and procedures in place.
When organising a repair cafe or other activity, you have a responsibility to do what you can to make sure people don’t get hurt. Doing a risk assessment can help with this. For an example risk assessment for a repair cafe, refer to the CAG Oxfordshire Health and Safety Briefing. Please note this only intended as a guide and must be adapted for your purposes.
Health and safety policy/ guidelines
You may want to have a set of clear guidelines for volunteers to be aware of to keep safe. See Greening Chinnor’s repair cafe manual or The Restart Project’s safety guidelines for an example.
You may want to have a policy in place which details your health and safety procedures and clarifies who is responsible for ensuring these procedures are followed. Some insurers will require you to have one. See the CAG Oxfordshire health and safety briefing for a template.
More guidance can be found in the Health & Safety Executive’s Safety in electrical testing resource.
Portable Appliance Test (PAT) for electricals and electronics
If you repair electricals and electronics, a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) and visual inspection should be carried out by a suitably-qualified person before and after the repair. If you have not yet raised funds for training and a PAT tester, you should carry out a careful visual inspection of the device.
It is good practice to create a disclaimer explaining your liability and adherence to regulations, which can be displayed on the welcome desk. This can also help to protect your group in the event of an insurance claim. See Greening Chinnor’s repair cafe manual for an example.
UKCA and CE marks
The CE mark is a mandatory conformity mark for most electrical items sold within Europe, indicating that the item meets the relevant EU safety standards. Since the UK left the European Union, the United Kingdom Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark replaced the CE marking on British products. Old or poor quality electrical and electronic items may not have CE or UKCA markings or may have fake ones. It is advisable to choose not to accept items without these markings.
For further information on safety, risk and insurance see The Restart Project’s guidance.
We can help!
Whether you're just starting a new repair group or you've been running events for a while, we're here to share our experiences and offer support. Simply get in touch with your nearest network member and let them know what you need.