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Administration of an Effective Waiver Program
The following excerpt from the book Managing Risk is subject to copyright laws. Reproduction of this material in anyway is forbidden without explicit written permission from the publisher.

Notice of Requirement to Sign Release
  • mention in marketing materials (advertisements, brochures, website) that participation requires a release of liability to be signed
  • this refutes the suggestion that clients are coerced into signing
Design and Layout of the Release
  • design the document in a simple and straightforward way so that the client knows what is happening

Statement of Risks – volenti / assumption of risk

  • this section gives notice to the risks to be reasonably encountered during the activity and that the client appreciates and understands those risks
  • identify and list the risks
  • the risks include not only those inherent to the activity but ancillary to it as well (i.e. a slip, trip or fall during a break on a rafting trip) as well as those risks under occupiers liability
  • including negligence as an inherent risk helps protect an operator from a lawsuit arising from an injury caused by a guide’s mistake or misjudgment
Witnessing the Client’s Signature
  • it is preferable that the client’s signature be witnessed by a trained employee who can attest to the conditions or context around which the release was actually signed
  • the conditions ought to be suitable for a person to contemplate the nature of the document
Quality Control
  • ensure that staff are trained how to present the release and not to interpret its terms
  • make sure that only those clients who have properly signed the waiver carry on
  • file and secure these documents for 7 years

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