Fisherys and a duty of care ?

CluelessFishing

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As dave pointed out above any business with public access has a legal responsibility to anybody on their site whether fishing or not ....... indeed it could be legally argued ( and has been successfully on occasion regarding other types of business) . Whether even there legally or not . The fact of the matter is many fisheries rely on the goodwill of anglers not to sue them . Some may even actually believe their own publicity regarding you using the facilities "at your own risk" . It most certainly is not at your own risk thats not what the law says and had Mick sued the fishery their feet wouldnt have touched . They would have had to pay full losses probably compensation and certainly legal expenses . This may have been covered by public liability insurance and if it was not in place the fishery ( if run as a company) or the fishery owner/s if it was a sole trader/partnership would become legally liable . luckily to the best of my knowledge incidents are generally of the type Mick descibes ... no laughing matter but not too serious ... and settled with a few quid "bung" usually way under the actual losses involved . However sooner or later somebody is going to be killed or maimed in such an incident and that is sadly what will wake up the industry because a claim then would run into hundreds of thousand maybe even millions. Best case scenario is the fishery was actually well maintained and public liability pay ...... but if its shown not to be ...... public liability will refuse to because part of their contract will state the fishery they cover will be obliged to maintain the premises in good order or the cover is void. In that case either the company or the owner becomes personally liable and in the majority of cases would face bankruptcy and in a blatent case of negligence could even face charges of manslaughter . The whole fishery safety thing is much more serious than it is taken which means sooner or later someone will pay a heavy price.
 

MarkW

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I've been involved in a lot of fishery maintenance over the years. I liked the days of positioning a half sleeper and backfilling best but platforms seem the norm today. The worst of platforms were those made from flimsy 2x4 pine with pallets on top, rarely last a year and unsafe, a throwback to the 80s. The best we made were with angle iron and reconstituted plastic sheet; they lasted 30 years. Some of our local clubs use green oak frames with cement boards (hardwood boards bound with steel used to make concreate blocks at the gravel works with a limited working life so the works are glad to get rid of the worn out ones) and they're usually good for 12 years.

The answer is yes, the club/fishery has a responsibility for the platforms being fit for purpose including strength - 20 stone of angler plus 6 stone of gear - I've seen the corners of platforms give way with v heavy angler stood on it, and grip - one local fishery uses grip strips and these work very well. Notices claiming responsibility lies with the anglers are invalid in law.
 

genesis

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Mick we fished a venue last week at Boroughbridge North Yorkshire. The lake we were on had 42 pegs and out of those 13 were unfishable. Some had dodgy legs, some pointing upwards to the sky. Others sloped that far down your box would go in the water and one had a board which was not even attached to the legs. We mentioned this to the owner who said he was aware of it and would sort it. But he told us the same last year. Needless to say as a club we have had to cancel our two booked matches on the venue for next year.

A couple of years ago a well know fishery in South Yorkshire had an incident where a concrete platform collapsed and the angler went in the water. Luckily the platform did not hold him under the water but I do know he was injured. The fishery owner then checked all the other pegs on the lakes and closed them off until they were replaced. Very pro-active and a job well done. However when you turned up for a match you had to sign a piece of paper basically saying if you were injured it was not the fault of the fishery. As match secretary I contacted both the AT and the HSE who advised me that as the fishery supply and install the platforms they have a duty of care to all anglers who use them. And should anyone get injured or have kit broken they can legally sue the fishery for damages.
 

Silverfisher

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@chefster I’d rather slip in the mud and fall on my bum and get a bit muddy (you’re covered in mud, sweat, slime, bait and all sorts anyway) than slip on or go through a platform and end up in the drink! Like @Zerkalo says those platforms that form part of the bank are fine but those out over the water are potentially more hassle than they are worth for me. Again in general platforms have a place on dodgy banks but where there’s a perfectly level flat bank behind them that you could fish from quite easily they seem a bit pointless.
 

Zerkalo

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I remember fishing matches that were double pegged and a tactic was to fish under the platform of the next peg, not doable on some places where the Carp would be right under them.
 

Rick123

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Hallcroft are all good and safe as they can be. I'd prefer a hard bank but at time sits just not possible is it?
 

chefster

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@chefster I’d rather slip in the mud and fall on my bum and get a bit muddy (you’re covered in mud, sweat, slime, bait and all sorts anyway) than slip on or go through a platform and end up in the drink! Like @Zerkalo says those platforms that form part of the bank are fine but those out over the water are potentially more hassle than they are worth for me. Again in general platforms have a place on dodgy banks but where there’s a perfectly level flat bank behind them that you could fish from quite easily they seem a bit pointless.
I don’t like the ones that go out too far in the water either, I’ve seen a few anglers had pole sections, etc blown or fallen in too easily
 

mickthechippy

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The fishery where I had my Incident on

never replaced the pegged platforms and inside a year, the then owner sold it,

the new owners then spent better part of another year rebuilding the fishery and re-moddeling the lakes, with bigger gravel board and infill type pegs covered by bark chippings

it is now more of a specimen type water and does not hold many matches on it anymore

Ive fished there once since it was sold on and it is far nicer now than it ever was as a match oriented fishery

when we booked gigs on it, there was rarely less than 20 fishing at peg fees of £7 a go, so each gig produced an income of £140 a match, there was 4 dedicated match lakes and 3 other ponds for specimen angling, most lakes were full each sat and sun with quite a few midweek gigs on them as well, so there was a good income from the waters, yet nothing really spent on maintenance apart from the thunderbox site type toilets being emptied around once a week, there were no other facilities apart from the most manky burger van used to turn up occasionaly, and just the one baliff on site, who was part time and really an employee of the farm complex that the lakes were on
 

Silverfisher

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Where just the natural bank isn’t suitable those infill gravel or bark pegs probably are the best option. Nice and clean with no slip risk.
 

Total

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The fishery where I had my Incident on

never replaced the pegged platforms and inside a year, the then owner sold it,

the new owners then spent better part of another year rebuilding the fishery and re-moddeling the lakes, with bigger gravel board and infill type pegs covered by bark chippings

it is now more of a specimen type water and does not hold many matches on it anymore

Ive fished there once since it was sold on and it is far nicer now than it ever was as a match oriented fishery

when we booked gigs on it, there was rarely less than 20 fishing at peg fees of £7 a go, so each gig produced an income of £140 a match, there was 4 dedicated match lakes and 3 other ponds for specimen angling, most lakes were full each sat and sun with quite a few midweek gigs on them as well, so there was a good income from the waters, yet nothing really spent on maintenance apart from the thunderbox site type toilets being emptied around once a week, there were no other facilities apart from the most manky burger van used to turn up occasionaly, and just the one baliff on site, who was part time and really an employee of the farm complex that the lakes were on

I echo the above.....Their one remaining match lake unfortunately has leakage problems this year and give full credit to the fishery for advising us that said lake would be closed for repairs etc....They gave us plenty of notice which was most appreciated and enabled us to make other arrangements for our cancelled booking.....
 

genesis

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Hallcroft are all good and safe as they can be. I'd prefer a hard bank but at time sits just not possible is it?
Good pegs at Hallcroft and the ones at Messingham Sands are like brand new and good sized platforms as well. They are always doing something to them. Both fisheries also have a good distance between pegs. Nothing worse than been able to tap the guy in the next peg on the back with your top two plus one. Some venues seem to think it makes sense to put 60 pegs on a lake that really should have a limit of 40
 

CluelessFishing

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However when you turned up for a match you had to sign a piece of paper basically saying if you were injured it was not the fault of the fishery.

It always baffles me when businesses do this type of thing ... . They are not worth the paper they are written on . They are in contradiction to the law of the land and part of that law is the fact you cannot sign away your legal rights so the fishery can create as many pieces of signed paper as it wants none would be worth a bean in a court . Dave might as well say you have to sign a piece of paper when you join this forum saying you agree that if you pee him off arry will come round to your house and shoot you inna face . it might be a very nice thought but if carried out it wouldn't stop arry spending the rest of his life inna prison and it wouldn't stop dave joining him for aiding and abetting.
 

crackatoa

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If you have to pay to fish a commercial it should at least be fit for purpose. Toilet facilities should be available. Paths should be easy to negotiate with a trolley. Pegs should be big enough and strong enough to accommodate an angler and his gear. These are the basic needs that should be available for the paying customer.
Unfortunately not all fisheries reach these basic standards, I know of one local commy that is nothing but a quagmire in winter. Really annoying as everything gets covered in mud, no matter how careful you are. You just can't put anything on the deck. Been the same for a long time. Owner always promising to 'sort it' but never bothering. He just relies on the fishing being good and it being the only available local fishery that can offer enough pegs for over 20 club anglers.
 

tipitinmick

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Mick we fished a venue last week at Boroughbridge North Yorkshire. The lake we were on had 42 pegs and out of those 13 were unfishable. Some had dodgy legs, some pointing upwards to the sky. Others sloped that far down your box would go in the water and one had a board which was not even attached to the legs. We mentioned this to the owner who said he was aware of it and would sort it. But he told us the same last year. Needless to say as a club we have had to cancel our two booked matches on the venue for next year.

A couple of years ago a well know fishery in South Yorkshire had an incident where a concrete platform collapsed and the angler went in the water. Luckily the platform did not hold him under the water but I do know he was injured. The fishery owner then checked all the other pegs on the lakes and closed them off until they were replaced. Very pro-active and a job well done. However when you turned up for a match you had to sign a piece of paper basically saying if you were injured it was not the fault of the fishery. As match secretary I contacted both the AT and the HSE who advised me that as the fishery supply and install the platforms they have a duty of care to all anglers who use them. And should anyone get injured or have kit broken they can legally sue the fishery for damages.
I can vouch for that. The fishery in question is half a mile up the road from me.
 

pies

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Our club inspect our platforms every month and fill out a Log book. All paths checked and noted. I would expect all commercials to do the same purely to protect themselves against fraudulent claims, let alone there customers
 

squimp

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Surely for the fishery’s insurance to be valid there should have been a recent risk assessment undertaken - As per the previous post.
 

Arry

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I wasn't there, it wasn't me, I didn't do it, I was outta town........ wad I do....

It pee's me off when you see signage that says the fishery/owners/staff are absolved from any claim or injury, because quite frankly they are not... they take your money so they have a legal requirement to ensure your safety up to a degree, and if provided pegs are not fit for purpose then they are liable for any injury or breakage... simples... o'course they could always tell you to pee off if you called em out on it
 

NoCarpPlease

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I can see the case for adequate maintenance of platforms on commercial pools.

on the other hand I wonder how far the (legal vs moral) liability stretches on, for example
club venues where the maintenance is generally down to a very small,band of volunteers
rivers, where platforms will get covered for part of the year by floods.
natural banks on private land where you have paid a club membership, but which can be slippery or Right by deep water.

if you think some platforms are dangerous you should try the banks of the Severn or Wye in winter!
 
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