Roof Construction and Insulation MaterialsFebruary 4, 2022
Member Matters Issue #1, March 2022March 7, 2022
Investigating and Managing Public Liability Incidents and Claims – Checklist
Accidents happen, but when they occur on your property, it doesn’t always mean that you are liable. There are processes, procedures, and actions that Members can adopt to ensure that Public Liability incidents and claims can be effectively managed, investigated and defended to minimise costs.
Not always will an incident develop into a claim. Sometimes, if the person is not badly injured, they will simply want to know that the hazard or defect has been rectified, so that no-one else is injured. In other cases, the person may wish to seek compensation for any out-of-pocket expenses and in other instances, the injured person may commence litigation. Sometimes, incidents do not immediately materialise into claims but have the potential to develop over the longer term as injuries manifest.
Sometimes an incident will occur that is witnessed only by a third party, these are often the most difficult incidents to manage as they require additional investigative steps.
This checklist addresses the following issues that Members should consider when investigating and managing an incident or claim:
- A notification is made by a third party
- A notification is made by the person who suffered the injury or loss
- How to investigate an incident
- How to document an incident and a claim
- How to manage the claim to conclusion
- Implementing a proactive infrastructure inspection program
- How to notify a defect and responses to a defect notification, including defect rectification
Public liability incidents and claims will mostly occur on infrastructure assets such as footpaths and roads or in buildings. A pro-active infrastructure and asset inspection program which is focussed on identifying defects and hazards is important, not only to keep visitors to your property safe but also to demonstrate that the institution discharged its duty of care by having a reasonable process in place to identify and rectify hazards.
This checklist is generic and may not be suitable for all applications relating to incidents and claims as the nature of individual incidents and claims may vary significantly. It is intended to provide a list of issues for institutions to consider and does not constitute advice regarding the management of incidents and claims. It is recommended that each institution using this checklist employ modifications to ensure that it is appropriate for use in the context of their individual requirements and situations.
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