Model Railway clubs not having public liability insurance

 
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The reason is actually quite simple, your layout/stand/whatever property is your responsibility. A third party, their insurer or the venue's owners and their insurance is not in control of the quality of construction, workmanship or safe operation of your property. They cannot assume your risk, because they cannot be an active part in removing or controlling the risk that you are responsible for.

Some further readings of tort are required around here, tort can't be used waive rights, and under tort you cannot assume other's risk, nor can you transfer ownership of risk. It belongs to you (or whoever is asking the question) and therefore it is sensible for you to cover your risk. You do of course have the option (and this would also be at the discretion of the party that invites you) to not cover your risk, but there is risk attached to such a decision too.

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  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
While I appreciate that this thread has been locked by site staff, I'd like to add another viewpoint. This thread focuses on model railways, and the traders/exhibitors that attend exhibitions, but PLI is not limited to the model railway hobby.

My partner attends markets in the Dandenong Ranges, and has a stall selling arts and crafts products. These markets explicitly require stall holders to have and maintain their own PLI, because as Aaron quite rightly pointed out, the organiser cannot assume your risk under their own insurance.

PLI is not a new concept in this country. It's undesirable, sure, but it covers your skin.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
We have decided to  unlock the thread, for now. Discussion about the topic is encouraged. discussion about each other is NOT.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
No, not from me. Too much editing going on around here, I won't bother any longer.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I think the best response is that insurance is a fact of life along with OH & S and working with children checks particularly if you are a trader, club or  exhibition organizer. We have the same requirements as a small business and when I was on the Board of a Rotary Club we had the same issues (including members who resented having to get insurance ...etc). In my experience once you start doing these things it is much less of a hassle than you think. Far quicker than winging about it.

Iain
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Model train shows are sometimes "Community Events" to benefit the local community as well as the club itself. Another example of how costly insurance plays out with a volunteer group that benefits the wider community are the Surf Life Saving Association members. These are the weekend volunteer lifesavers not the paid council employee lifeguards in some places such as Gold Coast.The volunteer lifesavers personally have to pay membership fees to their club to gain insurance cover before they can risk their own life to save your life in the surf.
  robertc Chief Train Controller

If I remember correctly we went through this a few years ago after someone running the Brisbane exhibition read the fine print to discover that only the club members and club equipment (such as layouts) was insured with PLI; not everyone, as they had assumed for many years.  All others ( traders and exhibitors) were treated the same as traders at any similar event whether it be the local show or a gem fest, etc and have to provide their own PLI to attend.

Whether you were there to make a buck or not mattered not a hoot.

I and one or two other contacted insurers and discovered that your train set is such a risk they did not want insure it for public liability.

Has anything changed?  You will need to discuss it with a solicitor versed in these matters.

Some individuals joined the NMRA as one affordable option as they offered cover; however I am not sure if this has been tested in court yet!

Sadly this insurance mentality is a reflection on Australian values these days.

regards
Bob Comerford
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

The reason is actually quite simple, your layout/stand/whatever property is your responsibility. A third party, their insurer or the venue's owners and their insurance is not in control of the quality of construction, workmanship or safe operation of your property. They cannot assume your risk, because they cannot be an active part in removing or controlling the risk that you are responsible for.
Aaron

This is similar to many years ago when I attended a local computer market.  The organisers PLI did not cover traders, and, while they did not concern themselves about whether you had your own PLI or not (probably because that's your problem, not theirs), they were scrupulous about making sure your power boards etc were tested and tagged.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
This may be a dumb question, but what trader decides not to get any insurance despite taking stalls to other places?

It all has to be paid for, I understand that. The price of insurance will add to the price of the event, and it's the final customer that will pay, but should the entering public be lumped with the final bill, or should the trader's customers be lumped with the final bill? If a trader who sells specialised products adds to the cost of the gate ticket, then I would have thought there would be an expectation that every person entering would benefit from their products, which is not necessarily the case.

I'd consider the club too. Model railway clubs are a social club and exhibitions are their demonstration. They're not commercial enterprises, unlike traders. Model railway clubs struggle to get insurance as it is, lumping them with commercial trader's PLI sounds just a little unfair.

M
  steam3203 Beginner

Ok Time to put this to bed.

1.The club has PL insurance for the exhibition.
2. When the club spoke to our insurance broker he inform us that both traders and exhibitions need to have PL.
3. However with individual exhibitions we were told that we can make them associate members and this cost is being wore by the club.
4. When ask if this can be done with the traders the answer was no. It is because if there is a claim and the insurance company find that it was the trader a fault they will counted sue.
5.That is why we have ask all traders to have PL.
I think this is the way it will go with all exhibition in the further and we are not the first one to ask that traders have PL I have been told that two other show ask for it.

David
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
The humble exhibition is going to become priced out of existence.  As an exhibitor, already are often expected to take the cost of including tagged leads into account when bringing along a display (something I've normally found quite useless, given I've never heard of the actual layouts internal wiring getting a check, which is where there is more likely to be electrical issues floating around, not with a store bought cable or power board).  We already hear of the struggle to round up enough quality layout to help make any sort of exhibition (by actually having something on the floor show to the public).  Having to include personal PLI into an exhibitors hobby budget will be enough to make many say screw it, its getting too hard and too many rubbish overhead costs.  If as an exhibitor there was some decent payment for providing the entertainment at a show, there may be some more incentive to bother with factoring in the cost of PLI, but since current payments are usually only enough to cover basic fuel costs in travel,  for what PLI is going to cost, I'd rather put that money into something I'd enjoy much more (such as more models or supplies) and keep my layout or display at home.  Its getting harder to support and promote the hobby when issues like this loom about.

Dan Pickard
  robertc Chief Train Controller

Unless something has changed, you, your layout and the trains running on it needed to belong to the club to be covered by the club's PLI.

As for cost, when last looked at it was irrelevant because no insurer would touch such a high risk thing as an exhibition layout for anything less than a big 4 figure sum. :>)

This is not something new, it has been in play for many years, it is just that many people were not aware or choose to ignore their individual responsibilities.  Any sensible venue owner will normally insist all exhibitors and the exhibition organiser show current PLI. A model train show is treated no different to any other show.
regards
Bob
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Hi Bob,
I've been attending exhibitions for a number of years now, and have never been asked if I do or do not have PLI as a private exhibitor (I'm not associated with any club, apart from being a NMRA member).  I have also never seen any comment or tick box on any application form to any exhibition indicating that PLI was required prior to acceptance to attend as an exhibitor.  A request for tagged electrical leads is the most I recall seeing on any information package.

Dan
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The electrical tag and test is OT but I just want to clear up a misconception, tag and testing is only interested in the electricals that can kill you.

It checks everything at mains level, right up to insulation barrier to the low energies coming out the layout. In doing so it can be considered safe that no high energy is going to get to where a person can unsafely contact it.

The reason tag and test does not care about the wiring within the layouts (and trade stands) themselves beyond the mains/low energy isolation is that the low energy, almost irrespective of how bad the wiring is, it cannot cause serious harm to people on contact.

The biggest issue in layouts is heat and hence fumes or fire, but that takes time, it is nowhere near instant.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Rob if I just my lawyer's hat on here, I would have to ask the question is 'your layout' could ever belong to 'your club'. An important distinction here is that 'the layout' would have to belong to 'your club'.

I am really skeptical of this idea that an incorporated body's insurance could cover the property* of a member. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't and can't, and that is the only thinking anyone should have until someone can dig out a relevant, tested PRECEDENT that can be used to show otherwise. Anything else is nothing more than a very dangerous assumption - which I have found typically comes from someone who's never read law in their life.

*We know (subject to what the incorporated body's Constitution states) it will cover members and their actions, that's outlined in the Act (at least in SA it is) but member property is very different.
  robertc Chief Train Controller

Aaron, I think you are reading my statement the wrong way. If it is not club property and you are not a member you are not covered by the club PLI was how the insurers responded to me. If it is your layout and/or trains or any other property you need to be insured.

Dan the fact that some of us have exhibited without taking out insurance does not change the situation as explained to me by the insurers. I think at one stage schools had a blanket cover for events staged on their land so we were OK if holding an exhibition there. Don't know if that is still the case. If a venue owner didn't ask for proof of PLI for all individuals exhibiting only means they were leaving themselves open to claims.
regards
Bob
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
The humble exhibition is going to become priced out of existence.  As an exhibitor, already are often expected to take the cost of including tagged leads into account when bringing along a display (something I've normally found quite useless, given I've never heard of the actual layouts internal wiring getting a check, which is where there is more likely to be electrical issues floating around, not with a store bought cable or power board).  

Dan Pickard
danpickard
Anyone who thinks that Test & Tag is just about purchased power boards & extension leads, has the wrong information. All mains powered equipment should be T&T too and in advance of the event. While some clubs MAY offer such a service at the set up time, the problem is what happens if a key part of a layout fails the test? That component CANNOT be allowed to be plugged in, until the fault rectified or replaced. Much better to be prepared, so that your soldering iron or lighting pelmet or whatever complies, BEFORE it leaves its normal place of residence.

As someone who does T&T for my club, I have found a number of faults with club equipment from time to time. Common problems are faulty power boards (high resistance within the conductors - one tested 17 ohms in the Earth path pin to sockets, compared to the maximum allowable of 2 ohms. This could prevent circuit breakers from tripping!), other problems are wires loose in plug - cable clamp missing, being very common. These are usually caused by pulling on the cable, accidentally or otherwise. Computer leads, IEC type are another - I was speaking to a professional T&T man & he told me that he's found a number that have had the active & neutral reversed, a definite no, no.
So factory made equipment can be supplied & do go faulty.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

As an exhibitor, already are often expected to take the cost of including tagged leads into account when bringing along a display (something I've normally found quite useless, given I've never heard of the actual layouts internal wiring getting a check, which is where there is more likely to be electrical issues floating around, not with a store bought cable or power board).
danpickard
That's because your internal wiring is going to be 48V or less, and that's unregulated.
Or what Aaron said, too.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
While we are on the subject more or less how often should tagged and tested equipment be retested, yearly, every 2 years or what! Just asking as I have to get some  testing and tagging done!
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
While we are on the subject more or less how often should tagged and tested equipment be retested, yearly, every 2 years or what! Just asking as I have to get some  testing and tagging done!
David Peters
several factors will determine that. how new the device it, is it insulated or grounded. Power consumption etc. - it is more detailed than this. So a device can get 6 months,  12 months or  rarely 2 years. a year is average.

If  device is tested and tagged, and is altered in any way, that voids the tagging and will have to be redone. I new device is not considered safe either.

Regards,
David Head

ps did a basic test and tag course and qual at my old workplace many years ago, but out of date now.
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
several factors will determine that. how new the device it, is it insulated or grounded. Power consumption etc. - it is more detailed than this. So a device can get 6 months,  12 months or  rarely 2 years. a year is average.

If  device is tested and tagged, and is altered in any way, that voids the tagging and will have to be redone. I new device is not considered safe either.

Regards,
David Head

ps did a basic test and tag course and qual at my old workplace many years ago, but out of date now.
dthead
Correct. Most stuff for our purposes will require a 12 monthly T&T - row 3 in the table below. Unless an item is hired out, then its each separate time of hire. If its repaired, then when re-entering service.
Items that don't get moved around (i.e club room fridge), can be every 5 years, but since these items will be in the minority, its probably just as easy to include them in the 12 monthly cycle.

Hmm, Can't get the attachment (PDF) to go as too large, yet not big 62kb. Try this as almost identical.

http://www.abctestandtag.com.au/faq/index.php?action=artikel&cat=3&id=40&artlang=en


Edit. Important note. In NSW, the testing rules are slightly different. However, since I'm not in NSW, I'm not 100% sure of the differences - so ask a local tester.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Thank you gentlemen,for that now I know how long!

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