We take safety very seriously. Many of our regular volunteers have attended TCV training courses on leadership of day tasks and on risk assessment.
Each of our tasks is the subject of a risk assessment which looks at both the task itself and the site on which it is to take place. The risks, and measures to control them, are covered in an introductory talk by the leader before work starts. Our procedures are based closely on those used by Hampshire County Council and TCV. We maintain an Accident Book.
Safe working practices
Using some tools can present risks both to the user and to those nearby. New volunteers are given instruction in the use of tools if needed—how to handle it, use it, carry it—and in any associated requirements for the wearing of personal protective equipment such as helmets or gloves (which are provided). From time to time refresher training is given to everyone present, regardless of their experience. We check the condition of our tools frequently, and take prompt action to remedy any defects.
Several regulars are trained in First Aid, and they are identified to all present at the start of the day. Our trailer contains a First Aid kit and defibrulator, plus a welfare kit containing items such as hand cleanser and eyewash solution.
We always have a vehicle nominated as emergency transport, and ensure that it is suitably parked. Our documentation includes directions to all the area’s A&E departments. Most members carry mobile phones these days and none of our work sites is outside mobile coverage.
All who volunteer with us are covered by the standard policy for conservation groups negotiated by TCV with Zurich. This provides £10million of public liability insurance, and lesser amounts of personal accident cover depending on the severity of the injury. We are insured for the use of power tools and chainsaws, provided that the latter are used in accordance with the TCV Code of Practice on Chainsaw Use.