Econet Risk Assessment [CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)]
Date: Wednesday, 20th September 2017  (10:00 - 15:00)
Task: Woodland management

Site: Rushall Farm, Bradfield
Site Contact: John Bishop 07803 920 766
Meeting Point: Black Barn, Rushall Manor Farm    Nearest Postcode: RG7 6DL    Map Ref: SU583723
Directions: The Black Barn, Rushall Manor Farm is situated off Back Lane between Stanford Dingley and Bradfield; take the gravel track north off Back Lane to the west of Scratchface Lane.

A&E:
Royal Berkshire Hospital (13.8m)
London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AN Telephone: 0118 322 5111
Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital (14.9m)
Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NA Telephone: 01256 473 202

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; Coppicing, felling & scrub clearance; Bonfires;



General Conservation Activities
Last updated: 03/08/2017 15:43:10
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.
Coppicing, felling & scrub clearance
Last updated: 13/06/2016 16:41:48
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Slips and trips; strained muscles; scratches to face and head; inflammation of joints; puncture wounds; cuts and lacerations; blood borne infections
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public
  Insurance considerations
Econet's insurance does not cover the use of chain saws.

The following statement has been made to Econet's insurer's regarding tree felling: "We occasionally fell trees with trunks over 15cm diameter, maximum in the region of 18 - 20cm. Maximum height of tree felled would be in the region of 10 - 12m. [but such trees would generally of smaller girth]." No task should be undertaken which contravenes this statement. Note: A diameter of 20cm (8in) equates to a girth of 63cm (25in).
  Hazards
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Eye injuries
  • Falling debris and branches
  • Unexpected movement when cutting timber under tension/compression
  • Thorns
  • Presence of man-made detritus, e.g. broken bottles, barbed wire
  • Repetitive movements
  • Blackthorn injuries
Controls
  • Tools: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Wear goggles to prevent eye injuries from protruding branches and branches under tension.
  • Demonstrate felling techniques emphasising importance of maintaining clear escape route and the meaning dangers of 'kickback'.
  • Volunteers recommended to wear hard hats.
  • Place warning signs at entry points and ensure visitors are kept away from main work area.
  • Check for broken glass, barbed wire, etc. and clear from work area
  • Ensure sufficient space available between volunteers - greater than height of any trees to be felled.
  • Cut back branches and other vegetation to give clear access and good visibility.
  • Check ground for thorns or other sharp objects before kneeling.
  • Clear brash regularly to reduce trip hazards.
  • Wear gloves (preferably hedging gloves) when handling thorny material.
  • Remove the thorns of blackthorn immediately and seek medical attention if wound becomes infected.
  • 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.
  • Avoid working near power lines and other overhead cables.
  • If tree caught in overhead cables do not touch, call responsible authority immediately.
Bonfires
Last updated: 03/08/2017 15:53:50
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Burns (minor and major); grit in eyes; minor cuts and bruises; breathing difficulties; damage to adjacent land and property
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public; neighbouring property
  Hazards
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Burning embers and flying debris
  • Flammable liquids
  • Smoke obscuring other hazards
  • Spread of fire
  • Smoke inhalation
Controls
  • Locate fire site on level ground clearing all trip hazards from the surrounding area.
  • Volunteers near fire should wear long sleeves and trousers to prevent burns from flying ashes.
  • Long hair should be tied back and loose clothing tucked in. Hard hats are recommended.
  • Fire must be sited downwind of main work area, and should not be larger than is required to do the job.
  • Fires must be sited away from roads and buildings.
  • Fires must not be lit in strong winds, on peat soils, in drought conditions, under trees or on any surface likely to catch alight, or near overhead or underground services.
  • Vehicles should be parked at least 50 metres from any fire.
  • Flammables (gas, petrol etc.) must be sited at least 30 metres from any fire.
  • One person must be tending the fire at all times.
  • Load material on to fire at a single point and in a controlled manner.
  • Exclude dangerous items e.g. aerosols, from material to be burnt.
  • Stop work if main work area significantly affected by smoke and insure all volunteers move out of the area.
  • Turn fires in and where possible damp down at end of day.
  • Place warning signs and/or barrier tape around hot embers left on site.
PPE
Rigger gloves;

Coppicing, felling & scrub clearance: Goggles; Hard hats; Hedging gloves;

Bonfires: Hard hats;

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.

   3 August 2017 15:55 T1709201537