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Thread: Insurance & Liability for students observing business

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    , Munising MI

    Default Insurance & Liability for students observing business

    We are entertaining the idea of working on a project with our local high school woods class. We are in a small town and the kids are not exposed to any automated equipment and we thought they could really benifit from the shopbot in our shop and other tools. This would require them to be in our shop for a couple hrs each week. We are checking with our insurance carriers about liability. Does anyone have experience in what they had done in a similar situation? Waivers signed, etc. We don't want an insurance issue to put a hold on the project, but at the same time we have to make sure there are not any extra costs that we can avoid. Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    You might contact :
    We have insurance for members of our woodturning group and also observers at demonstrations. Although it sounded a little convoluted and a subject i paid little attention to in the meetings, you might get some ides about coverages, ect from them. I would expect that the high school already has some type of coverage for their shop classes. You might talk to the administration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Delray Beach, FL


    Tim: Your agent will tell you wether your GL will cover this or not. You know what your limits are. You need to verify that the prime policy is the schools, and not yours. For that you need the school to issue you a certificate naming you as an additionally insured holder. I agree with the idea behind your concept, but the exposure is huge. This is why shops have signs forbidding customers in the work zones. Their insurance underwriters make them do it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Every time I have taken students of campus, so long as they are involved in "a school sanctioned event" they are covered under the districts insurance policy. Similar to athletics.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Habitat For Bats, Jackson GA


    Keep in mind, advice on this forum is just informal advice, my advice is to take what you learn here and seek formal and professional advice.

    Talk to school administrators as they deal with field trips all the time. The school administrators will know exactly how to protect themselves but not so much you... so don't rely on them for YOUR protection.

    When I'm doing workshops I'm on school property so things are a bit different, for me a personal liability umbrella policy is the biggest issue. While it should be a policy that you hold too... you may need additional protection since it's on your property. Talk to you insurance agent and don't be afraid to call an attorney that deals with liability lawsuits and pay for an hour. Just have your questions lined up.

    The key issue is negligence your on part causing and injury. While accidents and even negligence is generally covered under liability, gross negligence is a bad can of worms to open.

    If it were me in my shop here are some things I would think about and/or do...

    All tools would be powered off unless being used.
    All idle sharp tools would be secured... maybe even blunt tools like hammers.
    All sawdust would be off the floor
    Chemicals and paints secured
    The bathroom would be clean with a working lock.
    I would NEVER be alone in the shop with the kids or with any one kid.
    I would install a video camera to record everything that happens in the shop.
    I would keep copies of the permission forms that the school gets signed. Believe me, the school can/will loose these forms.

    It only takes one kid to lie and you are in deeper than you every could imagine. Years ago I was in a situation that could have ruined my life because I walked through a school hallway while on legitimate business. I did nothing, saw no one, said nothing, touched nothing. I will never walk down a school hallway alone again.

    Not to scare you, I think what you're doing is a great idea but you want to make sure you're not hanging your *** out and get burned.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Beckwith Decor Products, Derby/Wichita KS


    As we have recently become an ArtCam dealer and opened our support training center, we had to re-visit our insurance coverage to cover both inhouse and onsite training. Apart from your general liability if you are going to do any instruction you will need E & O coverage. (the price on this may scare you)
    As with some of the advise above get with your agent and discuss this, just make sure your agent is versed in commerical lines insurance.

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