Slips and Trips – Icy conditions and winter weather

The HSE produce these guidelines to assist you when it comes to avoiding accidents at your site.  By following these guidelines you may also prevent a  liability claim being made. AIM provides an excellent claims management service for its Members and does all it can to defend claims where it is considered you are not at fault and where Members can demonstrate they have followed risk management process.

Slip and trip accidents increase during the Autumn and Winter season for a number of reasons: there is less daylight, leaves fall onto paths and become wet and slippery and cold weather spells cause ice and snow to build up on paths. There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip. Regardless of the size of your site, always ensure that regularly used walkways are promptly tackled.


Is there is enough lighting around your workplace for you and your workers to be able to see and avoid hazards that might be on the ground? The easiest way to find out is to ask your staff. Another way is to shadow your employees for a couple of days, walk the main internal and external routes that they use throughout their working day. It is important to do this both inside and outside of the workplace, as the effect of light changes during the day. If you can’t see hazards on the ground you will need to improve the lighting (eg new lights or changing the type of bulb).

Wet and decaying leaves

Fallen leaves that become wet or have started to decay can create slip risks in two ways, they hide any hazard that may be on the path or they themselves create a slip risk.

Put in place a procedure for removing leaves at regular intervals; you might even consider removing the offending bushes or trees altogether.

Rain water

In dealing with rainwater:

  • When fitting external paved areas ensure that the material used will be slip resistant when wet.
  • Discourage people from taking shortcuts over grass or dirt which are likely to become slippery when wet. Consider converting existing shortcuts into proper paths.
  • On new sites, before laying paths, think about how pedestrians are likely to move around the site. Putting the path in the right place from the start may save you money in the long term.
  • Many slip accidents happen at building entrances as people entering the building walk in rainwater. Fitting canopies of a good size over building entrances and in the right position can help to prevent this.
  • If a canopy is not a possibility, consider installing large, absorbent mats or even changing the entrance flooring to one which is non-slip.

Ice, frost and snow

  • To reduce the risk of slips on ice, frost or snow, you need to assess the risk and put in a system to manage it.
  • Identify the outdoor areas used by pedestrians most likely to be affected by ice, for example: – building entrances, car parks, pedestrian walkways, shortcuts, sloped areas and areas constantly in the shade or wet.
  • Monitor the temperature, as prevention is key.
  • You need to take action whenever freezing temperatures are forecast. Keep up to date by visiting a weather service site such as the Met Office or the Highways England.
  • There are also smart signs on the market, available to buy at low cost, which display warning messages at £50 and below.
  • Put a procedure in place to prevent an icy surface forming and/or keep pedestrians off the slippery surface;
    • Use grit or similar, on areas prone to be slippery in frosty, icy conditions;
    • Consider covering walkways eg by an arbour high enough for people to walk through, or use an insulating material on smaller areas overnight;
    • Divert pedestrians to less slippery walkways and barrier off existing ones.
    • If warning cones are used, remember to remove them once the hazard has passed or they will eventually be ignored.


The most common method used to de-ice floors is gritting as it is relatively cheap, quick to apply and easy to spread. Rock salt (plain and treated) is the most commonly used ‘grit’. It is the substance used on public roads by the highways authority.

Salt can stop ice forming and cause existing ice or snow to melt. It is most effective when it is ground down, but this will take far longer on pedestrian areas than on roads.

Gritting should be carried out when frost, ice or snow is forecast or when walkways are likely to be damp or wet and the floor temperatures are at, or below freezing. The best times are early in evening before the frost settles and/or early in the morning before employees arrive. Salt doesn’t work instantly; it needs sufficient time to dissolve into the moisture on the floor.

If you grit when it is raining heavily the salt will be washed away, causing a problem if the rain then turns to snow. Compacted snow, which turns to ice, is difficult to treat effectively with grit. Be aware that ‘dawn frost’ can occur on dry surfaces, when early morning dew forms and freezes on impact with the cold surface. It can be difficult to predict when or where this condition will occur.

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Best Caving Destinations in the UK

We’ve had some questions recently about whether AIM can cover caving activities, so we thought it a good time to explore the best caving destinations in the UK.  Here’s a round up of 15 magical caves provided by The Camping and Caravanning Club.

If your business is providing guided caving trips or you own an artificial cave, please be assured that we are very much still in the market and we can offer cover for this.  Please indicate to the Underwriters when you call us for a quote or when filling in the proposal form.

As part of our underwriting process we would ask that you have the recognised qualification to deliver this type of activity.  There are also a number of organisations which provide guidance and regulation Association of Cave Instructors :: Association of Caving Instructors and also CIC – British Caving Association (

15 Best UK Caves to Visit – The Camping and Caravanning Club


Top 5 UK Cycling Destinations

Activity Providers Cycling Destinations

We have a number of Members who operate cycling and mountain bike trails and tours, we even have some BMX parks now.    Here’s a look at the Top 5 UK cycling destinations to inspire you. We can offer providers cover for Public Liability, Employer’s Liability and equipment cover.  If your business is registered in the UK then we can assist. Please speak to us about a quotation.

Yorkshire Dales

Road cycling in Yorkshire is renowned for its wild scenery, tough riding but welcoming hospitality and the real sense of a cycling community. It has grown in reputation over the last 10 years to be known as one of the best areas of not only the UK but Europe to visit and ride a bike.

Climb the likes of the Cote de Buttertubs, Grinton Moor and Lofthouse fueled on the local delicacy of Wensleydale cheese and Fat Rascals.

Lake District

The Lake District in Cumbria is one of the most beautiful places to ride a bike in the UK, but it is also one of the toughest. Mention the names Hardknott Pass, Kirkstone Pass or the aptly named Struggle and you are sure to get a large intake of breath but also a look of excitement from any roadie mates.


Cycling in Cornwall offers a rider an overwhelming sensory sensation – sandy beaches, sunny weather, a soft sea breeze in your face whilst you roll through the quiet country lanes flourishing with wild flowers. The breath-taking landscape allows you to part forgive the area for the punishing inclines that you get on the coastal roads, as you ride into the pretty little coves and harbours, and inevitably have to clamber back out.

Peak District

The Peak District is England’s oldest national park, designated as such in 1951, and ever since then it has been a haven for cyclists.

Being named the Peak District, you won’t be surprised that there are quite a lot of hills to climb. You can still find some more ‘gentle’ cycling routes to do if you don’t quite fancy slogging up the hills all day, but if you are a bit of a mountain goat, then you definitely won’t be disappointed. Not only are the hills plentiful, some of them are also incredibly steep. Find yourself at the foot of Winnats Pass and you will have really earned your Bakewell pudding from one of the numerous tea & cake shops enroute.

Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons national park, located in South Wales offers everything from charming and lively market towns, to high peaks with incredible views of the Welsh countryside and Black Mountains.

It is a microcosm of everything that makes Wales wonderful. Cloud-piercing peaks and high road passes look down upon the meandering rivers and waterways that pierce through the lush valleys.

Whether you are there for a full week or just a quick weekend break you will enjoy every minute of the famous Welsh hospitality and amazing countryside.

With thanks to

Benefits of the Mutual – Facts

We started thinking about what makes us different to a traditional insurance provider and why should activity providers consider us over any other, lets face it there’s plenty of options out there.

Here’s just a few benefits of being part of the Mutual.

  • AIM is a Mutual – like a co operative where the Mutual is owned by the Members, for the Members.  Membership offers a network of likeminded providers working towards a common goal.  Members connect with each other to help resolve specific issues or questions.
  • The Members answer to the Members rather than to shareholders of insurance companies looking for large profits.

  • The Mutual is run by a small, dedicated and experienced team and overseen by a Board of Directors all of whom come from the activities industry.
  • AIM’s cover is cost effective and of high quality, tailored specifically to our Members’ needs.

  • AIM is the cover provider that works in partnership with some of the leading industry bodies such as the ABC, IOL, AHOEC, CLOtC & NCC in order to support the various sectors and maintain the high standards for the industry.
  • We provide in house onsite tailored training for Members and their staff on a range of issues including Accident Reporting, Claims Defensibility, Risk Management and Lessons Learned as well as advice on Risk Assessments and Operating Procedures.
  • AIM’s Mutual Manager is a solicitor with 24 years’ experience in defending personal injury claims.  As such we have great in house expertise in risk management and claims defensibility and so work closely with Members on these issues, which stands us apart from our competitors.
  • We handle claims in house and take a strong stance where liability is in dispute, rather than settling on economic grounds as many insurers do.  We consider this helps protect your reputation and brand as well as the integrity of the activity sectors and whole industry.
  • To assist with the many challenges your business faces, the Mutual has partnered with ARAG plc to provide Legal Expenses cover.  This is included with your Membership and provides professional legal and financial support as well as counselling services for staff and their families on any issues they may face and has been utilised by a growing number of Members to help staff mental health.
  • AIM fought for its Members to ensure payments for COVID Business Interruption were paid, when other insurers didn’tTo date, payments total over £4m.  These have ensured that businesses have been kept afloat and able to continue as well as helping the activity sector recover.
  • We love seeing our Members!  We regularly visit them including for renewal meetings, training sessions, or just on request.
  • As an AIM Member, you are eligible for a share of the underwriting profits in years where a surplus is made and a payment distribution is agreed by the AIM Board

What are you waiting for?  call us or complete the proposal form here and one of our small but dedicated team will get back to you.

We know you won’t regret it that’s why so many of our Members renew with us year after year!


Residentials, Adventure & Activity Centres

We were pleased to see some of AIM Members mentioned in this piece from School Travel Organiser .  The category of Best Residential experience is voted for in their annual School Travel Awards ceremony in May.  We know that there are many residential centres offering vital services that may not have been featured or nominated so a big shout out to you all.  This article highlights just a handful of them.  Many congratulations to Lost Earth Adventures, Lee Valley Canoe Cycle and Mill on the Brue.  If you run an activity business please speak to us we have experienced underwriters who are familiar with the type of activities you offer and residential centres and we’d be happy to help.  There are many benefits to being part of the Mutual, please see some of our Member Profiles to get a taste for the broad and diverse mix of Mutual Members.

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Self Employed or Employed

When do Freelance Instructors need their own Personal Public Liability Insurance?

Mutual Member Profile – Ourea Events – Running Events

When the Mutual first began, the profile of Members looked very differently, to how it looks today.  We have seen a range of different activity providers emerge over the time we have been providing vital Public Liability cover to Members, Like any business we have embraced the diversity whilst always keeping at its heart to protect the Members who choose to take cover with us.

One area where we have seen an increase is the area of ‘running events’, (pardon the pun!) by this we mean organisers of trail runs and challenge events where the outdoors provides the exciting and often challenging backdrop to some incredible running events such as the Dragons Back Race.  One such Member is Ourea Events who joined the Mutual in 2020 and were kind enough to share their story with us in our Newsletter from January 2023.

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Thanks to Tom Hecht, Business Operations Director at Ourea for this interview.

If you have a business that operates in this sector do contact us for a quotation for your business kit and equipment, Public & Employers Liability cover.   We look forward to hearing from you.

Are you Covered?

As activity providers up and down the country prepare for a new season we wanted to remind Members that it is important to ensure all your equipment is covered and for the correct value and quantity.


  • This means checking all your equipment and stock inventories annually rather than relying on last years’ figures.  Make sure you inform the AIM team of the correct new replacement values as undoubtedly the cost to replace these items will have risen.
  • When looking at the figures remember that whilst you may be able to replace individual items with second hand ones, in the event of a total loss, the cost to replace the whole amount with new items is actually a considerably different financial outlay.
  • Take a look at the number of kayaks, canoes, harnesses or helmets for example and ensure the number and value is correctly listed.

We have had occasions where cover was significantly underinsured and regrettably, we cannot pick up the shortfall for this. A theft of kayaks for example in the region of £21k, but listed as £3k would result in a shortfall being paid on any claim.  Many providers would struggle with a loss of this value.  

  • As providers look at diversifying or changing what they offer, please let the team know if you are planning new or different activities to those which you specified when you first came on cover with this.
  • Consider the Business Interruption and Employers Liability elements of your cover.  How long would it take for you to begin trading again after a significant claim such as a fire or flood?  Check if your BI Cover extends to the right amount of time. We can discuss this with you should you require it.
  • If you employ staff or use volunteers it is a legal requirement to have Employers’ liability for them.

The AIM team are always on hand to talk to you about your figures so if you are not sure please call or drop as an email [email protected]


Offering Coasteering? – Getting the cover you need

Many providers of this popular activity struggle to find the right liability cover, either because their insurance provider doesn’t understand the activity or they consider it too risky and will not offer terms or a quotation.

We have had recent experience of providers looking for cover at the last minute because their insurance company changed its attitude to risk and pulled out of the market and we know this can be particularly frustrating.

As the temperature warms up, we know for many activity providers offering coasteering is a key part of your activity business, and you will be looking forward to delivering sessions again. You may even be looking to add coasteering to an already established activity schedule.

We can provide cover for your sessions with schools and families as well as adult groups from stag and hen weekends and corporate team building exercises.

Please be assured that Activities Industry Mutual (AIM ) underwriters are familiar with this particular activity when providing a quotation.  We are an Associate Member of the National Coasteering Charter (NCC), and we keep up to date with their meetings and events.  They promote best practice, provider and guide support in the sector, so if you are not a current Member of the NCC we encourage you to have a look at what they offer.

There is also a guide award that the NCC have introduced and the details can be found here

NCC Guide award outline:

The guide award has been developed by a working group of NCC members, coasteering providers and guides from around the UK.

The award has been structured to allow new guides coming into the industry the opportunity to work through a structured scheme that allows them to gain a base line in standard coasteering guide practice by undertaking a 2-day training course, partaking in a consolidation period and then undergoing a formal assessment. Existing coasteering guides who already have experience and some formal training will be able to apply for the opportunity to APL the training elements of the award.

Photo Credit: TYF Adventure


Public Liability Claims – Defence success for Member

We think it is important to publish details of judgement’s in Public Liability trial cases so that the Mutual and Members can use this valuable lessons learned information.  It also demonstrates that the Mutual will try to defend liability claims where it feels appropriate.  The details below have been provided by our legal colleagues at Clyde & Co who successfully defended this case.


The claimant, aged 14, suffered from Laurence Moon Beidl Syndrome which affected his eyesight. He was registered partially blind. The claimant often attended Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind  (“SRSB” – 1st defendant) for after school club and activities. SRSB took the claimant for a bouldering session at the premises of (“the Centre” – 2nd defendant).

Circumstances of Claim

Once at the Centre the claimant participated in warm up activities and then climbed one of the junior boulders. He did so with minimal assistance though he needed some help to get over the top of the wall. The wall had an enclosed chute/slide, which was popular with children, and which offered a means of descent. The chute was known to be fast. The claimant was instructed to slide down the chute and upon reaching the ground, he injured his ankle.

It was the claimant’s case that the enclosed chute was not safe for him, as his condition meant that his eyesight significantly worsened in dim conditions and that in going down the chute he had become disorientated.


It was accepted by all parties that the specifics of the claimant’s condition were not made known to the Centre staff, though the Centre knew he had a visual impairment. Visually impaired clients had used the chute in the past with no incidents, though the number was small.

The claimant alleged that the SRSB – 1st Defendant’s risk assessment in relation to the activity was inadequate and that a suitable assessment would have shown that the chute was not safe for this particular claimant. The Court agreed. Furthermore, the judge held that had the Centre instructors known that the chute was likely to disorientate the claimant, an alternative method of descent from the boulder wall could have been offered. The Court held that the Centre was not obliged by law to proactively enquire about the claimant’s condition and that it was entitled to rely on SRSB – 1st Defendant to draw any specific matters to the Centre’s attention.

The claimant was therefore successful in his claim against SRSB – 1st Defendant but unsuccessful against the Centre.

If you have any questions or queries about Public Liability cover and or the way the Mutual handles claims please get in touch.

Details of Clyde & Co : [email protected]