Econet Risk Assessment [CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)]
Date: Wednesday, 2nd August 2017  (10:00 - 15:00)
Task: Bracken bashing

Site: Padworth Common
Site Manager: BBOWT    Site Contact: Simon Barnett (01635) 32 071 or 07880 788 566
Meeting Point: Car Park, Rectory Road    Nearest Postcode: RG7 4JB    Map Ref: SU619647
Directions: Car park is off Rectory Road near junction with Baughurst Road and Reading Road

A&E:
Royal Berkshire Hospital (10.6m)
London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AN Telephone: 0118 322 5111

Minor Injury Unit:
West Berkshire Community Hospital (9.7m)
London Road, Benham Hill, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 3AS Telephone: 01635 273 300

Notes:
Hazard: Parts of the common are deeply rutted especially on the south side, with the ruts often concealled by grass and heather.

See also BBOWT Site Risk Assessment.

Volunteer's Tools: Volunteers bring their own tools which must be fit for purpose, at their own risk. The Group cannot accept any responsibility for a volunteer's own tools unless by prior agreement.

Volunteer's Dogs: Dogs should only be brought to sites where they will not disturb wildlife and other livestock and where it is acceptable to the management and other users of the site. Dogs are brought at the owner's own risk, the group cannot accept any responsibility for their wellbeing.

Assessment Summary: General Conservation Activities; Public open space; Road crossings; Heath and grassland management;



General Conservation Activities
Last updated: 06/11/2016 21:26:07
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Minor cuts and bruises; burns; lower back pain; verbal abuse; electric shock; contracting disease; blisters; sunburn; Lyme Disease
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  Hazards
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Manual handling
  • Contact with services
  • Contact with traffic
  • Volunteer's dogs
  • Contact with micro organisms
  • Irritant or poisonous plants
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Weather conditions
Controls
  • Keep site and materials tidy.
  • Make safe trip hazards highlighting any where this is not possible.
  • Tools (including volunteer's own) should be in good state of repair and fit for purpose.
  • Where possible tools being transported should be contained within tool bag(s) with blades guarded.
  • Give tools talk at start of task to impart and reinforce knowledge. (Volunteers should know name, purpose and correct manner of use of tools, including carrying techniques, storage, safe working distances and applicable protective clothing.)
  • Set aside damaged or blunt tools for maintenance or to be discarded.
  • Sturdy footwear should be worn.
  • Swinging tools should not be used with gloves (at least not on the hand gripping the tool) or in wet conditions; observe safe working distances.
  • Regularly check that safe working distances are being observed.
  • Tools not in use should be stored in tool bag or laid on ground in clear view where not a trip hazard.
  • Demonstrate safe lifting and handling techniques.
  • If available, use wheelbarrows and other handling aids to move heavier items.
  • Ensure routes for transporting tools and materials are kept clear.
  • Check for services as part of site inspection, mark and avoid. Avoid felling near overhead services. Where underground services suspected, use hand tools for digging within 1 m of line, do not use crowbars.
  • Unload vehicles away from traffic. Use tape, warning signs or cones where appropriate. Post lookouts to slow traffic whilst vehicles are manoeuvring.
  • Park vehicles to enable quick access and departure in emergency, and to allow access by emergency services.
  • Protect any cuts, advise all volunteers to ensure tetanus inoculation. Avoid contact with stream and pond water. Wear gloves when handling soil.
  • Warn of possible presence of irritant plants. Wear gloves and long sleeves when working with or near irritant plants; wash exposed skin thoroughly after work.
  • Wear long sleeves if biting insects may be present, use insect repellent. If wasp or bees' nest found, highlight and stop working in immediate vicinity.
  • Provide information about ticks and Lyme disease including symptoms. Advise volunteers to wear boots, long trousers and tops with sleeves to avoid ticks, tuck trousers into socks, and after task to check for ticks and bites and to seek immediate medical advise if they have concerns. Note: Although most common from late spring until autumn, tick bites can occur at any time of the year whenever the conditions exist for ticks to be active.
  • In hot or sunny conditions, keep skin covered and use high factor sun cream on exposed skin; stop work if volunteers ill attired for conditions, in discomfort or the work is increasing in risk.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Dogs brought by volunteers to tasks must be well behaved and under the control of their owner at all times, they must not put volunteers or others at risk by causing a distraction or otherwise disrupting the task.
Public open space
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Stress, distress, minor cuts and bruises, sickness
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers, general public
  Hazards
  • Contact with public
  • Abuse or aggression from public
  • Discarded sharps
  • Uncontrolled dogs
  • Dog faeces
Controls
  • If available, place warning signs at approaches to work area.
  • Keep paths clear of tools and debris.
  • Avoid volunteers working in isolation.
  • If confronted be conciliatory, avoid aggravating situation; be prepared to walk away.
  • If sharps found, do not touch or move, highlight location and advise site owner or manager.
  • Warn volunteers of possibility of dogs causing a distraction by entering the work area.
  • Warn volunteers of likely presence of dog faeces.
  • If practical, remove dog faeces from work areas using bags or burying where unlikely to be disturbed. Avoid skin contact.
Road crossings
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Serious injury; death
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  Hazards
  • Contact with traffic
Controls
  • Advise volunteers of fast moving traffic.
  • Ensure tools are carried correctly.
  • Ensure the carrying of tools does not impair the progress of either the carrier or others.
Heath and grassland management
Last updated: 06/11/2016 21:26:07
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Poisonous bites; asthma and lung tissue damage; burns; loss of digits; major cuts; sprains and bruises; Lyme disease
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public
  Hazards
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Thorns
  • Bracken cuts
  • Fire spread
  • Contact with machinery
  • Adder bites
  • Bracken spore inhalation
  • Lyme disease from tick bites
Controls
  • Tools: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Take frequent breaks when undertaking heavy or repetitive tasks such as when hammering or using slasher or strimmer, or alternate with other (lighter) task to reduce risk of strains and injuries associated with vibration and repetitive movement.
  • Wear gloves when handling thorny material.
  • Wear gloves when handling bracken to prevent cuts.
  • Site fires, if applicable see "Bonfires" risk assessment.
  • Provide information on adder identification and warning not to approach.
  • Wear sturdy boots and long trousers to avoid adder bits.
  • Avoid bracken clearance in late summer when spores are released; provide dust masks.
  • If machinery e.g. mowers, being used on site, insure safe working distances observed.
  • Provide information about ticks and Lyme disease including symptoms. Advise volunteers to wear boots, long trousers and tops with sleeves to avoid ticks, tuck trousers into socks, and after task to check for ticks and bites and to seek immediate medical advise if they have concerns. Note: Although most common from late spring until autumn, tick bites can occur at any time of the year whenever the conditions exist for ticks to be active.
PPE
Rigger gloves;

Actual items needed may vary according to the task.

Background Information

Lyme Disease
Bacterial infection transmitted from animals to humans by tick bites. Animal hosts include deer, foxes, sheep, squirrels and rodents. Ticks are most active in the early summer and autumn although they may be found at other times. They are often located on tall vegetation in woodlands and heaths from where they can attach themselves to their host. To protect yourself wear long sleeves and long trousers tucked in to your socks. Check for ticks on your return home, if found it should be removed immediately. Removal is best achieved with fine-toothed tweezers, pulling steadily away from the skin.

Only a small minority of tick bites carry Lyme Disease. Symptoms include a red, expanding rash parts of which may clear as it enlarges resulting in a "bull's-eye" appearance. Other symptoms are fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If you think you may have contacted Lyme Disease please seek medical advise immediate. Treatment is with antibiotics, without treatment a number of serious conditions can arise including a viral-like meningitis, facial palsy, other nerve damage or arthritis.

Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pages/BodyMap.aspx?Index=L

Last updated:

   Econet's Health and Safety Policy can be found in the "About Us" section of our website at www.econetreading.org.uk/admin.

   30 June 2017 16:38 T1708021522