Safety and Insurance
We take safety very seriously. Many of our regular volunteers have attended BTCV 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 Hants County Council and BTCV. We maintain an Accident Book.
Using some tools can present risks both to the user and to those nearby. New volunteers are given thorough instruction in the use of each tool—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, 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.
Those carrying mobile phones are also asked to identify themselves at the start of the day so that the leader knows what resources are available to him or her.
All who volunteer with us are covered by the standard policy for conservation groups negotiated by BTCV 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 BTCV Code of Practice on Chainsaw Use.