Bars and pubs, particularly those in town-centre locations which offer entertainment face a number of significant risks - the combination of alcohol and a high-energy atmosphere can result in potentially dangerous disturbances that present considerable liability exposures.
While hiring doorman or private security personnel is a good way to mitigate the risk of violence at your pub, inadequately trained security staff can result in further liability issues and potential claims under the Public Liability Insurance section of your Pub Insurance policy.
Responsibility to Customers
Should a doorman use improper methods of control or removal it can result in serious injuries or even death to customers. As a publican, you owe a duty of care to the continued safety of your clientele as well as providing a safe environment.
To protect your pub from the associated cost and negative publicity that can result from this type of incident, it is best practice to subject all employees to a comprehensive hiring and training process and to transfer your risk through appropriate and adequate Public House Insurance cover.
Recruit with Care
By undertaking a rigorous pre-employment screening process, you can reduce the associated risk. Screening can include conducting criminal record checks, detailed background checks and the financial history of applicants. Try to seek and prioritise applicants with prior experience and positive references. During the interview, ask applicants how they would react in hypothetical situations, and do not hire individuals that you suspect may have violent tendencies.
Comprehensive Training Programme
Security and door personnel is extremely important to the safety of your clientele. While maintaining good order is important, and a key part of the licensing process, client safety should be the first priority.
Employees cannot use force against a guest being escorted out unless they are taking someone into custody for a crime or in self-defence. They must understand that intoxicated or verbally obnoxious clients should be asked to leave, not forced, and that often a threat to call the police is enough to convince them to leave. A thorough training programme for security personnel includes the following:
- Management of aggressive or violent behaviour
- Responsible service of alcohol
- Recognising signs of medical distress
- Non-violent verbal self-defence
- First aid and CPR
- Basic training in criminal and civil laws relating to legal use of force and self-defence
New hires should understand that their duty is to prevent and deter violence, never to instigate it. For their own safety and for the pubs’s liability, personnel should always defer to calling the police should a situation get out of control.
External Security Firms
Many pubs and bars prefer to utilise the services of third party security firms to manage door security in its entirety. This can be a good option, but it is still important to carefully screen firms and check their own Public and Employers Liability Insurance carefully to ensure that they are adequately protected. It is best practice to retain copies of all insurance documentation in your files - allowing easy access should you receive notification of an incident at a later date which relates to the security firm.
Security Policy and Plan
By developing a comprehensive security policy within your risk management framework you should be in a good position to rebuke all acts of violence and outline a clear procedure to follow in the event of a violent disruption. Set up, enforce and monitor procedures for documenting each incident of threatening behaviour and each time the police are called.
A regular review of past incidents will help you structure and modify your plan on an ongoing basis. Including door security processes within your risk management structure will also assist in licence reviews by the local authority as clear evidence of best practice and ongoing actions taken to safeguard the safety of the public.
FREE Business Insurance Review
Insync specialises in cover for the hospitality and leisure industry. We can Compare Pub Insurance from the UK’s leading insurers, helping you to obtain the right level of cover at the right price. Our team of expert Gurus will help you to identify the key areas of risk within your business, reducing exposure and arranging insurance protection as appropriate.
You can request a quotation online, alternatively. why not book a free review at a time that suits YOUR diary.