Econet Risk Assessment [CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)]
Date: Wednesday, 26th June 2019  (10:00 - 15:00)
Task: Fencing and access work

Site: Greys Court (NT)
Site Manager: National Trust    Site Contact: Ben Tasker (01491) 670 417 or 07717 205 541
Meeting Point: Car Park    Nearest Postcode: RG9 4PG    Map Ref: SU725833
Directions: National Trust property approximately 3 miles west of Henley on Thames.

Royal Berkshire Hospital (8.7m)
London Road, Reading, RG1 5AN Telephone: (0118) 322 5111

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; Fencing; Construction (paths, ponds, etc.);

General Conservation Activities
Last updated: 13/04/2018 14:34:36
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
  • 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
  • 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. Pole saws must not be used within 15m of overhead electricity cables and power lines. Where underground services suspected, use hand tools for digging within 1m 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.
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Ill health from chemical ingestion; sprains and bruises; minor cuts; concussion; broken fingers
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Contact with wood preservative
  • Handling wire (new and reclaimed
  • Use of mell and post driver
  • Tools: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Pre-treated timber will be used where available and suitable, which should be dry when used.
  • Protective gloves should be worn when handling treated timber and wire.
  • Goggles should be worn when chiseling or drilling timber.
  • Rolls of wire should be carried on a stake or bar between two people.
  • Loose ends of wire rolls should be weighted or fixed firmly before wire is unrolled.
  • Rolls of stock netting must be handled at the ends, and fingers kept clear of the mesh.
  • Excavated holes should be covered when unattended.
  • Fence line should be kept free of obstructions to prevent slips and trips.
  • Hard hats must be worn when using either post driver or mell, and use bar to hold stakes or posts in position.
  • Stob twister or bar must be used to hold posts when using mell.
  • Only volunteer operating the wire strainer must be close to the fence when strain is applied.
Construction (paths, ponds, etc.)
Last updated: 13/06/2016 18:57:51
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Cement burns; respiratory distress; lower back strains; minor bruises and sprains; twisted ankles; stomach complaints
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Manual handling
  • Contact with treated timber
  • Contact with cement dust and mortar
  • Contact with paint or other chemicals
  • Soil borne infections
  • Tools: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • If using post drivers, mells or similar, hard hats must be worn.
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • 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.
  • Divert public away from working area using waring signs if available, and leave safe at end of day.
  • Treated timber should be dry and protective gloves worn when handling.
  • Waste treated timber must be disposed of via waste facility and not burnt.
  • Cement and mortar must be used in accordance with manufacture's instructions (which must be available). Face masks should be used to protect from dust.
  • Chemicals (e.g. fertiliser, pesticide, stump treatment, timber preservative, paint) should only be used with the prior consent of the site owner/manager.
  • Chemicals not available to the general public should only be used by volunteers who have received the relevant training or who are working under the direct supervision of someone who has received such training.
  • Chemicals must be applied in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions which must be available.
  • Recommended protective clothing must be worn when applying chemicals, e.g. PVC/rubber gloves, face masks.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • 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.
Rigger gloves;

Fencing: Goggles; Hard hats;

Construction (paths, ponds, etc.): Face masks; Hard hats; PVC/rubber 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,

Last updated:

   Econet's Health and Safety Policy can be found in the "About Us" section of our website at

   26 April 2019 15:02 T1906262045