Have you ever been about to ride a horse, jump in a kayak or play hockey and someone sticks a clipboard in front of you at the last minute, asking you to sign a waiver?
I have had the question many times - "Are these Waivers legit? Do they work?"
They can be if you are doing them right.
If there is a particular risk in your business that you want the client or customer to be responsible for AND NOT THE BUSINESS, you can shift this responsibility in a waiver.
One party - your customer - wants to participate in a risky activity (skiing, trampoline, zip line, etc.). and the other party - your business wants to protect itself from liabilities relating to this activity.
In exchange, the customer signs a waiver and release regarding liability claims in order to participate. If they do not wish to sign, they can not participate.
This could be in a volunteer or business activity - it may be the main activity of your business (ski hill, trampoline park, kayak tours, yoga class) or it could be a special event or fundraiser (pie eating contest, 5 km run etc.)
The waiver needs to be an enforceable contract so that the customer will be held to the promises that they make in the waiver.
In order for the waiver to be ENFORCEABLE, there are three key things you have to follow:
Identify risky activities in your business - either regular or special events, that may require a waiver.
Have a process for the participant to review and sign the waiver so that you meet the requirements to have it legally enforceable.
Use other methods as well as the waiver - contracts, signs, tickets - to remind of the risks and that the business is not responsible for injuries.
Store and file signed waivers in a safe place so that you could retrieve them if necessary.