I have been in tool hire for number of years now and I am getting more and more concerned about storys I here when consumers have hired tools had accidents and succesfully prosecuted the hire company, for example the latest tale I heard true or not is about an American man, he hired a wet and dry vac from his local hire shop, while sucking up water from the tiles around his swimming pool he slipped and caught the cable and pulled the Vac into the swimming pool and killed him self by electricution, because he wasnt told that he shouldnt use the hoover around volumes of water by the hire firm, his wife succesfully prosecuted them and left them bust.....how many of us could say that couldnt happen to us?? How can hire firms be prosecuted by people who hire plant and hurt themselves, when they can quite easily purchase chainsaws from there local DIY store and then proceed to assemble and use something they have had zero experiance with yet a hire firm has to go through hundreds of points and safety advice for the item and then even if the customer does hurt themselves it is usual for them to be belived whether it is the first accident on the firm or not.....how many other industrys have these problems, If I hired a fancy dress costume from a shop wore it to a party and got to hot and dehydrated and while passing out banged my head and spilled my drink on the costume.......would it be fair for me to pay the hire firm for the damage to the costume or should i sue them for not advising me to remove it periodically or to top my fluids up, my point is are people getting more and more expected to know things that are not associated with there jobs just so that others dont have to accept responsiblities for there own preservation, how long is it before a 17 year old school leaver is sent to jail for not telling a 30 year old man how to look after himself.
My sympathies are on your side, Karl, but when i buy something from a DIY shop its packaging and instructions are full of danger warnings. Can't you photocopy all the instructions for your various bits of equipment and hand them out with the tools and if necessary get the hirer to sign that he's had them?
Off point slightly but in one place I worked we were given health and safety talks which included a questionair. The latter was given out before the talk so we could answer the questions as the talk was taking place. I queried this practice and was told as long as the company has documented proof the people in the talk have heard and understood the talk it did not matter. It seems they had an accident where they guy admitted being in the talk saying how what he did was wrong but because the talk was in English and not Welsh he hadn't understood what was meant. The questionair proved they understood the talk. So here in Wales you would need bilingual instructions.