Health and Safety Policy Statement
Edition 1.1, March 2009
1. The Friends of Priors hill Copse (FOPNC) Health and Safety Policy comprises three parts.
Commitment to Safety
2. FOPHC an organisation made up entirely of volunteers is committed to a policy of carrying out its activities in accordance with its constitution to ensure the health and safety of its members and everyone associated or affected by its work.
3. It is the responsibility of the elected committee of FOPHC to execute this policy and recognise that it has legal obligations under the Healthy and Safety of Work Act 1974. It will coordinate the participation of all its members and those organisations with which the group cooperates.
· To ensure each member of FOHC not only contributes to conservation work constructively and enjoyable but also safely. They need to understand the policy as it applies to them and to put it in to practise.
· When working on behalf of national or local authorities and formal conservation bodies, some responsibilities for health and safety and its supervision pass to that organisation.
Meeting this Commitment
4. FOPHC, working either independently or in conjunction with national and local authorities and formal conservation bodies, will strive to meet its commitment to health and safety by:
5. This policy statement is supported by notes on the organisation and arrangements for health and safety which, together with other information, constitutes FOPHC Health and Safety Manual.
6. This material will be made available to all members of FOPHC who are expected to ensure their own safety and that of those affected by their work.
7. This policy statement has been approved by the FOPHC committee
Signed ..Print name Chairman
Signed ..Print name ..Secretary
Signed Print name .Treasurer
8. FOPHCs elected committee is responsible for the formulation of health and safety policy taking in to account legal requirements and any rules or conditions which arise from cooperating with national and local authorities and formal conservation bodies.
9. The relevant national and local authorities.
· Hampshire County Council. Countryside department Royal Victoria Country Park.
· Eastleigh Borough Council. Countryside department.
· Hound Parish Council. Direct contact with Parish Clerk and councillors.
10. The relevant conservation bodies.
· British Trust of Conservation Volunteers.
· Hampshire Wildlife Trust.
11. The committee will review health and safety matters at its regular committee meetings, and will keep the groups policy up to date. They will also analyse any reports of incidents with a view to revising policy, responsibilities or arrangements as necessary.
12. The chairman of FOPHC committee is overall responsible for the implementation of health and safety policy. Delegated responsibilities are as follow:
· FOPHC Health and Safety Officer Mr D Walters is the current nominated Health and Safety officer. His responsibilities are to ensure the FOPHC health and safety policy is correctly carried out on all work sessions and other activities; working through team leaders as appropriate. He is to ensure that a trained first aider is available for work days, and adequate insurance cover that meets the needs of FOPHC is in place.
· Team Leaders. To ensure for every work session there is a team leader: If because of the nature of the work the group is split, further section leaders will be appointed. All such leaders are responsible for correctly applying health and safety policies to their tasks.
Individual Volunteers. All members have a principle duty of care to themselves which means they are not to undertake tasks for which they are unsuited or for which they are unfamiliar. They also have a responsibility to correctly observe instructions and information briefed in detail at each work session. Guidance for individuals on these matters is contained in ANNEX A to this Policy Statement which is to be issued to all Group members.
13. National and Local Authorities. When FOPHC carries out work on behalf of the authorities listed in paragraph 9 above it is the responsibility of those organisation ahead of the work session to:
· Agree the scope of work
· Carry out a Risk Assessment and make it know to FOPHC
· Provide tools if required
· Provide specialist support such as chain saw operation
· As necessary, notify residents and landowners that work is to take place.
In some cases the authorities will supervise the work. Otherwise it will be the responsibility of the FOPHC to brief its own members on the task, stick to the agreed scope of work, and supervise it. In both cases the work will be covered by the local authorities insurance.
14. Conservation Bodies. As for National and Local Authorities.
15. Landowners. Site owners are responsible for health and safety on their properties. In many cases FOPHC will be working with local authorities or formal conservation bodies on land which they own in which case there is no conflict of interest. In some cases, however, work will take place on private property which will be enabled by prior arrangement when this is practicable.
16. FOPHC considers that sound organisation and leader are the foundations for good health and safety practices. Through its committee the Group strives to be well organised to carry out conservation work in Priors Hill Copse. Measures taken include:
· An agreed Constitution
· A committee elected annually by members at the AGM
· Maintenance of an up-to-date membership list and a record of attendance with hours worked.
· Adequate warning for members of work sessions and other activities, including details of clothing and equipment needed.
· Good liaison with all organisations responsible for or involved with conservation in the local area.
17. FOPHCs work sessions are normally carried on Sundays in accordance with the management plan compiled by EBC and HPC. The work dates are arranged at committee meetings up to six months ahead a minimum of two weeks notice is given to members. FOPHC Health and Safety Policy apply equally to any small mid-week work sessions as to main sessions.
18. For each work session an experienced volunteer is nominated as Team Leader who is responsible for preparation and conduct of the task including:
· Planning and reconnaissance
· Liaison with national or local authorities and conservation bodies as appropriate
· Where necessary, giving prior warning to residents and landowners of the work to be carried out (see sample letter at ANNEX B)
· Conduct of a Risk Assessment or adherence to one carried out by the responsible authority
Provision of tools, other equipment including Hi-viz jackets, stores, plants etc.
19. On occasions when it is necessary to split the workforce into smaller groups, the Team Leader is to nominate suitably experienced volunteers who are familiar with the type of work to act as Section Leaders. The Team Leader is to ensure that Section Leaders:
20. From time to time FOPHC will undertake tasks which may take considerable time to plan and execute. These are termed Projects and are the responsibility of a nominated Project Manager, normally a member of the committee.
21. The Project Manager is responsible for making a project plan and this is to include a Risk
Assessment for the project as a whole.
22. All work carried out by BCG is to be the subject of a prior Risk Assessment which in some
cases will be carried out by the local authority or other responsible agency.
23. The FOPHC Team Leader nominated for the task is responsible for conducting the Risk Assessment some days before the task is to take place. He should review this with a second experienced person. He is then to brief it to his team at the start of the session.
24. In making Risk Assessments, Team Leaders should refer to:
25. Further references if needed are:
26. Risks are to be rated as follows:
Any tasks that scores in the red are not to be carried out, tasks that score yellow try to reduce the scoring by training and protective equipment, green can be ignored.
27. They are to be recorded on the FOPHC Task and Attendance sheet (ANNEX C) Particular Hazards
28. FOPHC operates in a semi-rural area where there are plenty of houses with their attendant services which present a series of potential hazards to conservation work:
O Obtain maps and other data from the service providers.
o Carry out a Cat scan before any digging commences. EBC will often provide this
In all cases, dig with the greatest possible care.
29. Bonfires. FOPHC will not implement bonfires on work days for which it is responsible. If bonfires are used on local authority projects it is they that are responsible for safety aspects. FOPHC team leader will satisfy himself as to the safety of volunteers, calling to attention any hazards or unsafe practices.
30. FOPHC is aware of the need to control hazardous both for the good the environment and the health of individuals. The Group has a copy of HSEs leaflet COSHH: A Brief Guide to the Regulations.
31. All chemical weed control will be carried out by licences contractors only.
Tools and Equipment
32. The wide range of conservation tasks undertaken by BCG necessitates use of a range of common hand and mechanical or electrical tools. Chain saws are specifically excluded under the terms of the groups insurance.
33. Project Managers and Team Leaders are to ensure that any tools used are within the competence of team members on the day and are to brief them on their use and the risks associated with them. In doing this leaders need to be aware that there is a wide spread of competence in BCG. Particular attention needs to be paid to new members.
34. Tools are mainly obtained from FOPHCs own stock or by borrowing from local authorities or conservation bodies. Occasionally members may be asked to bring their own gardening type tools. On occasions where specialist tools (such as power tools) are required, appropriate arrangements will be made with qualified practitioners.
35. Annex E summarises handling and safety points about FOPHCs commonly used tools. Further details are to be found in BTCV publication Hand Tools A guide for safe use and care.
36. Members are advised in the calling notice for work sessions of any particular clothing requirements e.g. Stout footwear and gardening type gloves are advised for most group tasks:
The calling notice also invites members to dress for the weather expected on the day.
37. FOPHC will provide yellow Hi-viz jackets to be worn at most work sessions. It will also provide special protective items, such as hard hats and goggles, when these are required.
38. Every effort will be made to provide first aid cover for all FOPHC work sessions. Whenever possible this should be provided by a trained First Aider as part of the team. When this is not possible, cover will be through a trained First Aider on call.
39. It is FOPHC intention to always have a pool of First Aiders trained up-to-date who have attended, as a minimum, a one-day course delivered by St Johns Ambulance. The Red Cross or
other recognised body. Current practice is that these courses are valid for three years after which the first aider requires a short refresher.
40. One First Aid Satchel is available for use. It is the responsibility of a nominated First Aider to ensure the contents of First Aid Satchel are complete and in-date.
41. Any incidents are to be recorded by Team Leaders and assessed by the FOPHC committee. In this context it is mandatory to report deaths and major injuries, over 3 day injuries, certain diseases and certain dangerous occurrences. Reporting is to the HSE Contact Centre 0845 3009923. BE SPECIFIC
42. The FOPHC Accident Report Book is kept with the First Aid Satchel to be held by the Health and Safety officer.
43. It is the Groups policy to progressively improve its skills by taking advantage of training courses available through BTCV, Hampshire Wildlife Trust.
Attitude to Non-Adult Volunteers
44. This is a vexed issue because of conflict between a desire to involve young people in conservation work for educational and community reasons. And the regulations governing their involvement.
45. FOPHC welcomes young people taking part but will always insist that they are accompanied by a responsible adult who accepts responsibility for them.
46. When the Group works with school children, youth group (Guides) it is the responsibility of the teachers / group leaders to apply and supervise all appropriate safety precautions. Exact demarcations are to be clearly discussed and agreed beforehand between the responsible teacher and the FOPHC team leader. FOPHC will not ask children to undertake dangerous tasks or give them bladed tools to use.
Attitude to Pregnant Women
47. Volunteers who are pregnant sometimes like to continue with their community work. The onus is entirely on them. However BCG will insist that they only undertake very light tasks with their feet firmly on flat ground.
48. BCG has standard insurance cover with Zurich Municipal provided through BTCV. The purpose of this is to provide:
· Public Liability cover up to £5m
· Personal Accident cover for members of the group.
49. The benefits, terms and conditions are given on the BTCV website.
50. It is the task of the FOPHC Health and Safety Officer to ensure that this cover is always in place, to adjust cover should this be necessary and to negotiate non-standard terms with BTCV should these be required.
A Health and Safety Guidance for Individuals
B Sample Warning Letter to Residents
C Task and Attendance Sheet
D FOPHC Risk Assessment form
E Task Leaders check list
F Summary of Safe Use and Care of Hand Tools
Friends of Priors Hill Copse
Health and Safety Guidance for Individuals
By joining this group you are able to take part in worthwhile conservation tasks and preserve Priors Hill copse for future generations. We endeavour to make the work enjoyable within a friendly and relax atmosphere, every effort is made to ensure the safety of members and others who may be associated with or affected by the work. Establishing this safe working environment is not only common sense, it is a legal requirement on volunteer groups such as ours and you have your part to play in achieving it.
Under the law, individuals have a primary duty of care to themselves. This means that, while working with the Group you should:
Be satisfied that you are fit enough to participate. Someone with a serious medical
condition or chronic back problems, for example, would be best advised to restrict their
Not undertake tasks for which you are unsuited or for which you have no experience.
This might apply, for example, to heavy lifting, prolonged physical activity or use of
tools with which you are unfamiliar. During most work sessions there are a variety of
tasks thus catering for a range of experience and physical strength.
You also have a responsibility to the team not to put other volunteers or members of the public in danger. Therefore:
Be clear on what it is you are being asked to do and understand any risks involved. This means listening carefully to the briefing by the team leader at the start of each session and asking questions at any point if anything is unclear.
Be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions on the day including boots or stout
shoes and gardening style gloves. Special requirements (e.g. Wellington boots) will be
notified in the calling notice for the session. Any other protective equipment such as
goggles or hard hats will be provided when considered necessary.
Do not undertake unauthorised tasks. If in doubt ask the team leader.
Be conscious that there are some minor risks attaching to conservation work, just as there
are to gardening e.g., some plants have poisonous elements. Please make sure your
tetanus injection is up to date and that any cuts and grazes are covered.
Be aware of the arrangements for first aid. There will always be a first aid kit available
and, on most occasions, a first aider present. Mobile phones will be available for
administrative and emergency purposes.
Full details of the commitment of the Group to your safety are embodied in its Health and Safety Policy.
Sample Warning Letter to Residents
FRIENDS OF PRIORS HILL COPSE
WORK ON PRIORS HILL COPSE
Friends of Priors Hill Copse are a local volunteer group formed to look after the copse. It has the full support of the Parish Council and Eastleigh Borough Council. The group will be working in the copse though out the year carrying out various tasks for the benefit of the copse.
Should you have any concerns about the activities please contact Hound Parish Council: Sue Hobbs (parish clerk) 02380453732 or Dick Walters team Leader 07118821113.
If you would like to know more about the group or would like to help please contact Dick Walters: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07118821113.
Thank you for your assistance and support.
TASK ATTENDANCE FORM
Please read the following and sign to say you have read and understood this:
I have read or been given instructions on safe tool use and health and safety on this activity. I agree to follow the leaders instructions and inform them of any medical condition that might put me at risk when undertaking physical activity.
FRIENDS OF PRIORS HILL COPSE RISK ASSESSMENT RECORD
FRIENDS OF PRIORS HILL COPSE
Summary of Safe Use and Care of Hand Tools
When briefing on tools, cover
1. Bow Saws
SAFE USE OF TOOLS
Safe working distance
= at least 5 metres