Naturenet: Safety Policy for Conservation Volunteers

Safety Policy
for Conservation Volunteers

This is a copy of the Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers safety policy. It is very simple but nonetheless it's so good we thought you'd like to see it. Obviously it's getting on a bit now and refers to Birmingham a lot, so you'll want to change it to suit your own needs if you copy it. Every CV group should have one. The original is no longer on the web, so we've kept it here. The rest of BUCV's website was great, too, so if anyone knows where it now is we'd like to know.

Safety Policy

In October 1997 Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers Society (BUCV) became a member of the Guild Athletic Union (GAU). BUCV was one of a number of societies which carry out potentially hazardous activities to be transferred. Although administration and funding will still continue within the Guild the University (through GAU) has assumed liability for the safety of students whilst on BUCV tasks. As part of the changes the society must adopt a formal safety policy.

BUCV members are insured whilst taking part in society activities. Our insurance is arranged through the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet. One of the requirements of the insurance policy is that a safety talk be given before each task explaining the correct and safe use of all tools. This information can be found on the tools page. For more information about insurance contact the committee, Society Treasurer.

Code of Practice: Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers

Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers Society (BUCV) organises practical conservation work. This work involves of day long tasks which take place in parks and nature reserves near Birmingham and weekend residential tasks organised through the British Trust For Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). Residential tasks take place at sites elsewhere in England and Wales.

Transport to the worksite is normally by minibus though public and private transport may be used to nearby locations.

Practical conservation work is often carried out in rough or inaccessible terrain and may include hazardous activities such as tree felling or the use of potentially dangerous tools.

1.  All members of the society must familiarise themselves with and follow the Code of Practice.
2. Insurance for members of the society whilst carrying out conservation work is provided by the BTCV subject to certain conditions.
3. Members must always ensure their own safety, the safety of other members of the society and the general public.

4. The leaders of each task will be clearly identified.
5. The details of the task will be described and the reason why it is being undertaken will be explained. Members of the group will be informed of special features of the worksite (such as the presence of endangered species).
6. Potential dangers associated with the task or the worksite will be identified.
7. The correct and safe use of all tools which may be used must be described to all those taking part before starting every task. (This is a requirement of the BTCV insurance policy.)
8. The procedure to be followed in case of an accident must be explained to all those taking part. The location of the first aid kit must be given and any qualified first aiders identified.
9. No one must carry out a task about which they are uncertain, or if they are unsure of the correct safety procedure.

10. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and that all passengers and equipment are stowed correctly. The driver must not take alcohol or drugs.
11. Regular minibus drivers must plan to attend a BTCV minibus driver course.

12. The society owns two first aid kits which may be used to treat injuries.
13. Any accidents must be immediately reported to the leader of the task. The removal of any items from the first aid kit must be also be recorded.
14. The leaders of each task will know the location of the nearest casualty department or medical aid.
15. All details of accidents must be recorded in the society Accident Report Book.
16. The society also possesses a `welfare kit' which contains items such as paracetamol and sticky plasters which you may use at your own risk to treat yourself. Some people may be allergic to items such as paracetamol and so they should never be administered to others.

Other Points
17. Anyone with a medical condition which may affect them must inform the leader of each task.
18. Guild Athletic Union rules require that a Duty of Care form be left at the University when the society carries out tasks, This form records the name of all those taking part, the leaders of the task, the location, and contacts in Birmingham and at the worksite.