Accidents Involving Skip Bins: Liability and Decreasing the Chance

There's nothing particularly complicated about a skip bin. It's a robust container which is delivered, filled with the items you plan to dispose of and then collected again. This is generally it. Although it's a large and strong item that remains stationary other than when it is being loaded onto a truck, it's not as though it can cause damage or injury, can it? It's an unlikely turn of events, but it's still possible that injury or damage could occur with skip bins, but usually only if someone happens to collide with the bin. If such a thing were to happen, who would be liable? And what can you do to minimise the chances of it happening?

Public Liability Insurance

A skip bin provider should have public liability insurance, and indeed, this might be a requirement for them to provide the service. If you should have any doubts, you could ask to see a copy of the company's certificate of currency (showing that they have current insurance). Such a document would generally include:

  • The period for which the policy is valid

  • The limit of any liability

  • The territories for which the policy is valid

  • The insurer

So while this takes care of any liability that might arise in the unlikely event of an accident relating to the rented skip bin while it's in use on your property, what can you do to lessen the chance of an accident?

The Position of the Skip Bin

The words 'out of harm's way' can be apt. If the skip bin has been placed on your property, then this certainly minimises the chances of anyone coming into contact with the bin, other than you when you're filling it. And yet sometimes a limitation of available space on your property means that the skip bin will be placed on the street directly outside your home. In this instance, there are a few things you need to consider.

  • Will the skip bin restrict visibility for any motorists? This could apply to you when using your driveway (or your neighbours) or any passing vehicle (which could be a possibility if your home is located on a corner or on the crest of a hill).

  • Will the skip bin be visible at night? Ideally, the skip bin should be placed under a street light and fitted with reflective signs.

These factors should be considered before you decide upon where to place the skip bin if it's not on your property. Talk to your skip bin professional for more direction in proper placement. 

While an accident involving a skip bin isn't likely, correct placement of the bin will decrease the chances of this happening at all, and correct insurance will take care of any liability issues.