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Huntington Beach Union High School District

Risk Management » Helping to Minimize Risk at Your School

Helping to Minimize Risk at Your School

Protect Your School - Controlling Exposure to Common Risks

 

Bounce Houses/Inflatables

Bounce houses are fun, but they can lead to serious injuries. To protect your Organization from claims and lawsuits, you need to do two things when bringing bounce houses onto campus:

 

Get a release/waiver from ANYONE going into the bounce house. Waivers provide you with strong protection against risks inherent in an activity.  Sample waiver forms can be found on this website.
 
Get a Certificate of Insurance from the Bounce House operator that does the following:
    1. Names your Organization and The Regents of the University of California as additional insureds;
    2. Provides at least $1M (million) in commercial general liability coverage;
    3. If the company is bringing vehicles onto campus, provides at least $1 million in automobile liability insurance.
    4. If the company is bringing employees onto campus, provides Workers Compensation coverage in accordance with California lawIf the bounce house company cannot give you a Certificate of Insurance, look for another bounce house company.
    5. If the bounce house company cannot/will not provide Auto Liability coverage, it cannot drive onto University property. If the bounce house company cannot/will not provide Workers' Compensation, it cannot bring employees onto District property.

A copy of the Certificate should be sent to the Risk Management at risk@hbuhsd.edu and a copy should be kept by the department that controls the campus facility you are using. It is definitely in the best interests of you and your Organization to have the Evidence/Certificate of insurance, because it assures that the bounce house owner will handle any claims or lawsuits that come your way.

 

Food Services On School Grounds

Food consumption can lead to food poisoning. Your liability for claims of food poisoning depends mostly on two things:

 

  1. the degree to which you prepared the food, and
  2. the responsibility you had to preserve the food (i.e. keep uncontaminated and hot or cold)

From a liability standpoint, the less you have to do with preparing the food and the sooner you serve it, the better. Here is a liability breakdown of food serving options:

 

  • Pre-packaged foods (bags of chips, bottled water, etc.) These pose very little risk because someone else prepared them and you did not have to take any steps to preserve them, so liability goes to the manufacturer, not you.

Recommended loss prevention: do not open until serving.

 

  • Prepared foods (pizza, sandwiches, salads, etc.) brought in from restaurants or stores. You do not have to prepare them, but depending on when they are served, you may have to preserve them.

Recommended loss prevention: keep hot or cold as appropriate. Do not unwrap until serving. Serve sooner than later.

 

  • Catered foods (at banquets and other major functions). The caterer is preparing the food and preserving it, so liability goes to the caterer.

Recommended loss prevention: see “catered” below.

 

  • Foods you make. Since you prepared the food and probably had to preserve it, if someone gets sick, the District is potentially responsible!

Recommended loss prevention: Follow safe food handling procedures (i.e. wash your hands, clean utensils, clean surfaces, avoid cross-contamination, etc.). Keep food hot or cold as appropriate. Wrap or cover for protection if possible and do not unwrap or uncover until serving.

 

  • Foods you make to sell. Since you prepared the food and probably had to preserve it, if someone gets sick, the District is potentially responsible.

Recommended loss prevention: Make sure you have any necessary permits. Follow safe food handling procedures (i.e. wash your hands, clean utensils, clean surfaces, avoid cross contamination, etc.) Keep food hot or cold as appropriate. Wrap or cover for protection if possible and do not unwrap or uncover until serving.

 

If your event is catered, the caterer will need to provide insurance. The District requires a Certificate of Insurance from caterers that includes the following:

  • The caterer must be listed as the Insured.
  • Your Organization and The Huntington Beach Union High School District, and must be listed as "Additional Insureds".
  • The Insurer/Producer name and contact information must be on the Certificate.
  • The policy start and end date must encompass the date of your event.
  • The policy must include General Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 ($1M).
  • If the caterer is bringing a vehicle onto campus, the policy must include Automobile Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 ($1M).
  • If the caterer is bringing employees onto campus, the policy must include evidence of California Workers' Compensation coverage.
  • The Certificate must provide 30 days' advance written notice to the University of any modification, change, or cancellation of any component of the insurance coverage.

GUESTS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS

If you are bringing minors, their families, or anyone else to the campus for field trips, tours, overnight stays, or other activities that take guests away from home, it makes sense to obtain a waiver from each guest's parent/guardian.

 

Here are some hazards associated with having guests on campus, and what you can do about them:

 

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, the host should immediately determine whether the injury is life-threatening (loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, etc.).  Always assume that an injury is potentially life threatening.

Here are local emergency call numbers:

Police/Fire - Emergency

911

Risk Management

714-903-7000 Ext. 504370

 

Emotional/Psychological Emergency

A guest may suffer a panic attack or go wild beyond your control. Or, worse, a guest may exhibit bipolar, bizarre, or perhaps threatening behavior.

 

Family Conflicts

A guest may tell you about ongoing abuse, neglect, or molestation in his/her life. Do not personally intervene. If you are convinced the guest is telling the truth, contact Child Protective Services or the local police department and report what you have been told. By making an official report, you gain legal immunity even if the allegations are proven false.

 

Alcohol or Narcotics

No alcohol, narcotics, or tobacco should be consumed on District/school property. This is a crime and criminal acts ARE NOT insurable. 

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual relations with someone under 18 is considered a criminal act. Minimize one-to-one closed door time. To protect yourself from harassment allegations, meet at public area where many people are around and can observe your interactions. If you have to meet in a room or office, keep doors open and window blinds up to increase the

likelihood of witnesses may be present.

 

Theft

Keep your valuables secure. Encourage your guests to secure their own valuables. If you have to take responsibility for a guest's valuables, place the valuables behind locked doors and windows and keep them hidden from view of potential thieves.

 

Transportation Risks

 

By Public Transportation

Liability would generally fall with the public transportation provider, so you do not have to do anything about insurance.    

Buses, Limos, etc.

Liability would fall with the transportation provider, so you do not have to show coverage for yourself.

 

Recommended loss prevention: if you are hiring a bus company to provide transportation for many people, it's best to get a Certificate of Insurance from the bus company naming the District as an additional insured. The Certificate should evidence coverage of at least $250,000 per seat or $4 million total commercial liability, whichever is larger.

 

When You Are Driving

Confirm in advance that drivers have a valid license for the type of vehicle they are driving. When personal vehicles are used, leaders should also confirm that the vehicle is insured. 

Auto accidents can result from the following risks:

 

Bad weather (snow, heavy rain, fog, etc.)

 

Recommended loss prevention: If possible, wait until the worst part of the storm is over before beginning travel. If caught in a storm, pull over or drive slowly. If you know you're going to encounter bad weather, be prepared (i.e. bring chains if heading into snow, check windshield wipers and defroster if heading into rain).  Use extra care when driving in construction zones, around blind turns, or on narrow or unpaved roads.

 

Mechanical failure

 

Recommended loss prevention: before leaving on a trip, make sure brakes, tires, lights, mirrors, and defroster are all in good working condition. If any of these do not function, use another vehicle for the trip.

 

Driver fatigue

 

Recommended loss prevention: no one should drive more than two hours straight. If there's only one driver per vehicle, the driver should take at least a 15-minute break between each two-hour shift. If there's more than one driver per vehicle, switch every two hours. At night or in bad weather, no one should drive more than 60-90 minutes without taking a break or switching drivers. Rather than drive through the night, stay at a hotel and resume travel first thing in the morning.

 

Driver inattention/Recklessness

 

Recommended loss prevention: no one should drive under the influence of medication or substances that causes drowsiness or trouble concentrating. Drivers should pull to the side of the road to use cell phones or to text. Avoid eating or reaching for items that cause you to take your attention off the road.  Do not drink or consume narcotics before driving or while driving. Do not speed beyond normal traffic flow, tailgate, make abrupt lane changes, etc.

 

Vendors and Liability

A vendor is a company or businessperson who provides your Organization with goods or services, usually for a fee. Vendors can be:

  • DJs, bands, or other performers
  • Restaurants or caterers
  • Bounce house concessionaires or purveyors of other fun stuff
  • Suppliers of goods or services

 

The goods or services provided by vendors can lead to liability. For instance, the food prepared and served by caterers could lead to food poisoning. There is no reason why the District or your school should be held liable for the negligence of a vendor.

 

For on-campus events, vendors need to give the District a Certificate of Insurance prior to the event.

 

The District requires a Certificate of Insurance from service providers/vendors that includes the following:

  • The vendor must be listed as the Insured.
  • Your Registered Student Organization and the Huntington Beach Union High School District must be listed as "Additional Insureds".
  • The Insurer/Producer name and contact information must be on the Certificate.
  • The policy start and end date must encompass the date of your event.
  • The policy must include General Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 ($1M).
  • If the vendor is bringing a vehicle onto campus, the policy must include Automobile Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 ($1M).
  • If the vendor is bringing employees onto campus, the policy must include evidence of California Workers' Compensation coverage.
  • The Certificate must provide 30 days' advance written notice to the District of any modification, change, or cancellation of any component of the insurance coverage.