Many schools are now operating state of the art sporting
complexes, pavilions, gymnasiums and aquatic centres thanks to
Government funding and the schools own capital improvements.
Hiring these facilities to external organisations such as sporting
clubs, community groups, theatre performers and other hirers has
become common practice for schools, whether it is for revenue
raising or general community use. This exposes the school to
additional risks of property damage and personal injury which need
to be managed.
As part of the schools Risk Management procedures a Formal Hire
/ User Agreement should be utilised when an external party is using
the facilities. Any Hirer / User who is a business, registered
club, association, community group or any other entity should have
their own insurance for their activities.
The purpose of the having a Hire Agreement is to clearly set out
the responsibilities of each party and it may also help to minimise
the possibility of insurance claims being made against the School
if someone is injured arising out of the use of the facilities or
if property is stolen or damaged due to the hirer failing to comply
with their responsibilities.
This agreement should also document that the Hirer / User is
responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to prevent
personal injury and property damage and ensure the safety of
persons and property. It will address with the Hirer / User their
responsibility to assess the Land / Buildings / Facilities /
Equipment and deem such property as appropriate for their
activities and obtain any permits necessary to conduct their
The school must also be comfortable that the activities being
undertaken by the Hirer / User are appropriately managed. The
school still has a duty to ensure the activities being carried out
on their premises are safe from an OHS and Risk Management
Any Formal Hire Agreement / Conditions of Use form should be
examined and approved by your solicitors before being finalised.
Some of the topics that should be covered in this are:
HIRING OF VENUE: Application, Deposit, Bonds,
Cancellation of a Booking, Rejection of a Booking Request, Hiring
Period, Supply of Utility Services.
VENUE USE: Vehicular Egress and Parking, Venue
Condition, Cleaning Between Shows, Animals, Displays and Props,
EQUIPMENT: Control Room, Temporary Rigging,
Items for use Requiring Prior Approval, Hirer's Equipment,
Additional and/or Hired Equipment, Venue Equipment.
HEALTH AND SAFETY: Fire and Emergency Exits,
Hazardous Displays and Props Placement, Accidents and Injuries,
Free Access to the Building. Statutory Authorities, Areas and Their
Usage, Security, Alcohol and Drugs, Pyrotechnics, Open Flame.
INSURANCE / INDEMNITY CLAUSE / RELEASE /
WAIVER: Evidence of Public Liability cover of the Hirer /
User, Indemnity: The Hirer shall indemnify the Property Owner
against 1. Loss of or damage to the Property Owner's property;
and 2. Claims in respect of personal injury or death or loss of, or
damage to, any other property.
Businesses should review their standard form contracts for unfair terms to ensure they do not fall foul of the new laws.
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