Highseat Warning Signs (download)

csl

Administrator
Site Staff
Just knocked these up for our shoot work party this weekend and thought they might be of use so I'll upload on here too. I made them large enough to be easily visible/readable from close up but not so large as to draw too much attention from afar!

View attachment High Seat Warning Signs.pdf
 

MARCBO

Account Suspended
At one point in Germany we had a problems with tree-huggers sabotaging ladders by cutting partially through them. Have you had that problem in the UK?

SS
 

Eric the Red

Well-Known Member
At one point in Germany we had a problems with tree-huggers sabotaging ladders by cutting partially through them. Have you had that problem in the UK?

SS
Yes, I've also had inverted used syringes pointing up into the seat area - and razor blades on the back of the rungs, designed to cut your hands as you climb. Pleasant bunch. Not knocking CSL's sign - but one of the best I have seen is an 'RSPB Bird Watching Station' sign with the appropriate Danger notice underneath - stopped them being vandalised - but not stolen......!!
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
I have no knowledge of this area so I'm just mentioning something which occurs to me.

I suspect that using terms which imply that you've left something dangerous lying about in the countryside is unwise. If someone fell from your highseat and it was to go to court I can't help but think that you would face an argument which went along the lines of "you posted a sign saying that this high seat is dangerous, if you knew it was dangerous why did you leave it in a public place?" At this point it might not end well for you.

The same applies to shooting - putting up a sign saying "Danger - shooting in progress" is a bad idea as you open yourself to being asked why you are doing something you know to pose a danger. All the evidence indicates that shooting is perfectly safe, all the evidence also indicates that high seats are perfectly safe when used by authorised and trained persons and, therefore, neither present any danger to anyone.
 

Chris J

Well-Known Member
As one with some experience in this area, you are really better off with a sign that simply says Keep Off. Even better if you can physically restrict access. But in all reality, fears of someone trying to sue an individual citizen in this country are largely unfounded. We all read articles about the potential for claims from these sorts of things, but seldom see actual cases brought before the courts. Signs need to be unambiguous and once you start trying to get too clever, you trip yourself up. Keep Off or Do not Climb etc have no potential to be misinterpreted. Once you start to use words like authorised it suggests there is some sort of test, register, log of who is authorised.

I think that those signs are acceptable. They do not indicate failure of the structure. And they are pictorial. For shooting activities, we should be trying to inform and instruct. Shooting in progress - keep to marked footpaths for example admits nothing nor really has the potential to inflame. But these are just examples. Look at road signs. Stop. Give Way, One Way No Entry etc. They don't go into anymore detail than that. Why should we?
 

csl

Administrator
Site Staff
I asked our H&S manager at work and the text is what he advised. To be honest, if we take the view that putting a warning sign on something is an admission of negligence then we're in danger of getting ourselves in a right muddle. :D

If it's the word 'danger' that's the problem I could probably do alternative versions with different text, or maybe just attach the original powerpoint file so people can customise the text?
 

Chris J

Well-Known Member
They are OK to be fair. It's semantics really. Like I said, what you are trying to tell people is that they could fall off and hurt themselves, not the at the seat in inherently dangerous. That's why I suggest keeping the picture and say KEEP OFF. But honestly, unless you have signs that day where there's blame there's a claim, it still meets the spirit. But I'd suggest that DANGER is a little non specific and not as helpful.
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
I say keep it simple and your seat well maintained with a "NO UNAUTHORISED USE" sign being plenty if in the event of an accident however say for example children playing on the seat not having adult understanding and got injured this then opens up a whole new scenario the case for claim or counter claim ???? the only really safe option is never leave the seat out after use.

But life is full of risk you can only hope nothing happens just like every time you go for a drive in your car we just have to weigh up all the options otherwise we would never leave the safety of our homes....
 

Chris J

Well-Known Member
No, the use of the word unauthorised is worthless. It really is. What makes someone authorised? Prove that someone is and that someone isn't. Children wouldn't have a clue what that mean but they'd more likely understand KEEP OFF. It's an instruction. No unauthorised use is a basically decision do I or don't I?

I put signs on ours some years ago that said something like

Before you climb this ladder, just stop and think where you are. You are miles from anywhere and your phone probably has no signal. Do you really want to be lying there in agony thinking how stupid you were to ignore the first sign that said KEEP OFF?

We never had any complaints. Ha ha
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
No, the use of the word unauthorised is worthless. It really is. What makes someone authorised? Prove that someone is and that someone isn't. Children wouldn't have a clue what that mean but they'd more likely understand KEEP OFF. It's an instruction. No unauthorised use is a basically decision do I or don't I?

I put signs on ours some years ago that said something like

Before you climb this ladder, just stop and think where you are. You are miles from anywhere and your phone probably has no signal. Do you really want to be lying there in agony thinking how stupid you were to ignore the first sign that said KEEP OFF?

We never had any complaints. Ha ha
I understand what you say and hope that's the case for the future, but what I mean is no matter what signage you put up or not, if it's on land you own/rent/or have permission the erection of a seat will if left unattended or has easy access to climb by other parties carry with it a risk to you or the owner ( who will have a counter claim against you/who ever erected it )if someone gets hurt using it, the court will decide the outcome it's that simple or not simple depending which ever way you look at it when you leave that seat it creates risk the only 100% guarantee is never leave it in place when you have finished using it that's the way I see it anyway but as already mentioned we have to go outside into the world every now and then.......;)
 

Chris J

Well-Known Member
Just a quick reality check here. it is unlikely in the extreme that a case would make it as far as court. We all see the blame claim adverts on daytime TV but remember that's an advert. There are laws here and they're pretty good and well understood. Anyone can CLAIM anything they like in this world, but there are rules. Firstly, the owner of the seat or whomever has to to be proven to owe a duty of care to the person who was injured. Injury itself is NOT proof. Now to be honest, I think in many cases a claim would struggle at this first hurdle. It all depends on where the seat etc was. Somewhere very public, yes maybe. But deep in woods off the beaten track? Not so simple.

The next test is that if this duty IS owing on any given occasion was it breached and breached in a negligent manner. So, if you climbed it lost your footing and simply fell off the case would not succeed. I have to have caused you to fall in some careless, knowing way through something I did or failed to do that a reasonable person in the same position would have done.

The last test is that the loss that you suffered was as a direct rsult of that negligent breach. So you climb it, fall off, miss your bus and your boss sacks you for being late - well it's a stretch too far.

So, the truth is that you could in fact very sucessfully defend a claim for someone falling off even if there were no signs at all. Signs are not a defence against negligence. They may act in mitigation because at times the rememdy is not immediate. You can put signs up saying danger unsafe structure keep out but really you have actually identified the issue. Now if you can prove that you had arranged measures to remove it or something and that it was simply a question of time, you would not necessarily be seen as negligent.

If the structure is a s safe as houses and someone climbs and falls off due to no failure at all then there is no case. If you go to Marks and Sparks and fall down their stairs because you weren't careful and the stairs are proven to be good, then you are getting nothing I can assure you. The only negligence was yours. This is all about reasonableness.

As I think we all agree, maintaining your seats in good condition is the best defence. Signage adds little but is an easy win. It adds little in truth but do it anyway. If you are going to do it though, don't be ambiguous. Don't do it in terms of thinking of a defence. Do it to stop people going on there in the first place. Hence KEEP OFF. You need no more and no less. There isn't any weakness in a sign that says keep off.

I am part of the claims defence team for a multi billion pound turnover business here in the UK. One you will most certainly have heard of. Contrary to popular belief the system and the courts are pretty clued up on the old reality stakes. People do not get paid out just because the turn up in a sling with a black eye. I can't recall any case we have dealt with where it was won or lost on the presence of a sign.
 

csl

Administrator
Site Staff
From our point of view we are attaching signs to our seats because that's what we told the estate we'd do in our deer management plan and risk assessment as part of taking reasonable steps to prevent injury to third parties. The plan says that the seats will be discreet/away from footpaths, will not be situated in such a way as to hinder access, farming or forestry operations, that they will be checked on a regular basis and that they will be signed with warnings appropriately. The estate agreed with the plan and thus that's what we are doing.

I hadn't anticipated this turning into a debate to be honest, I just posted the signs up because I thought they might benefit someone else who is actually going through the process of erecting highseats whilst keeping land agents and estate people happy. If they aren't right for someone's particular situation then I'd advise that person not to use them. :D

I'd happily post a huge liability disclaimer to go with them so you can't sue me but no doubt someone will argue it wouldn't be valid. :doh:

:lol:
 
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Chris J

Well-Known Member
I think it's one of those perennial debates really. it's not like a punch up, it's a discussion that sometimes benefits others who maybe think that no matter what you do you can never win. Which isn't the case. Nothing wrong with your signs at all.

But you are right about most disclaimers.
 

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