A rental store was hired to deliver and set up numerous items for a large convention. Among those items were several tables with folding legs. One table in particular was placed near the main entrance and manned by a convention volunteer who handed out brochures and other information.
During a slow period of the day, the volunteer sat on the table and it collapsed, injuring the volunteer’s back. A lawsuit was eventually brought against the rental store for failure to properly inspect the tables to ensure they were set up properly. The rental store owner stated that when the table was retrieved from the location, that the table had been collapsed and that there had been issues with employees, in the past, not properly locking the legs in place when setting up tables.
Given the evidence and the volunteer’s injury, the case was settled out of court for a moderate sum. The fact that the volunteer sat on a table, which is clearly not its intended use, was taken into account in the settlement and his contributing liability was reflected in the moderate amount of the settlement.
However, when the delivery and setup of rental items is complete, the job is not done. Every item needs to be inspected, post-setup, to ensure that things like locking mechanisms, straps and tie-downs are in proper working order and the table, tent or other equipment has been properly set up. Have a simple “after setup” checklist for your employees to use. It will protect you, the customer and event attendees.
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This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Kansas City, Mo., is the story of a real-life insurance claim involving a rental store and is intended to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.