Econet Risk Assessment [Friends of Waterloo Meadows]
Date: Sunday, 14th March 2021  (10:00 - 13:00)
Task: Site clean up

Site: Waterloo Meadows
Site Manager: Reading Borough Council    Site Contact: Andy Gillespie (0118) 937 3042
Meeting Point: Katesgrove Children's Centre    Nearest Postcode: RG2 0BN    Map Ref: SU714722 (cross.taped.teeth)
Volunteers: By Invitation only.

A&E:
Royal Berkshire Hospital (2.3m)
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: Coronavirus (Tasks); General Conservation Activities; Public open space; Waterside working; Litter pick;



Coronavirus (Tasks)
Last updated: 22/09/2020 21:47:49
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Contracting or transmitting coronavirus infection
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  Hazards
  • Contact with infected person
  • Contact with contaminated surface or material
Controls
  • Tasks must be organised in accordance with current guidance with particular reference to but not exclusively, social distancing (currently 2 metres), number of volunteers (see below) and the use of face coverings (see below). See www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
  • No more than 6 volunteers including the leader may participate in a task. This number will be regularly reviewed taking into consideration government guidance and local circumstances and may be reduced without notice if required to do so.
  • Where representatives of the site are to join the task the number of volunteers participating may be reduced, if not the task may proceed at the task leader's discretion providing the additional number of participants is no more than 2.
  • To provide extra volunteering opportunities Econet may organise additional tasks. Each task must have its own leader and own tools, provision of tools for each task by one individual is not permitted. No more than two tasks must be organised at the same location in the same timeframe i.e. in the morning, afternoon or evening of the same day, and the start times of such tasks must be at least 15 minutes apart.
  • The task leader must ensure they have the contact details of those participating, preferably including a telephone number, which Econet will pass to the Contact Tracing Service if requested. See www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works.
  • Anyone who has had symptoms of coronavirus in the last 14 days or lives in a household where someone has had symptoms in this period, should not participate.
  • Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus in the 7 days following a task should inform the task's leader who will then notify the other participants irrespective of the involvement of the Contact Tracing Service.
  • Tasks should be located so as to minimise contact with others.
  • Volunteers should bring their own gloves, hand sanitiser and refreshments, these will not be provided by Econet.
  • A face covering may be worn at the individual's own discretion, see following for the current guidance on the use face coverings for outdoor working www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/construction-and-other-outdoor-work. See below regarding first aiders.
  • Volunteers should use hand sanitiser at the start and end of the task and before eating or drinking.
  • Whenever possible gloves should be worn.
  • Volunteers must not share tools.
  • Volunteers will be encouraged to bring their own tools providing such tools are fit for purpose.
  • When distributed and again when returned, Econet tools should be wiped down with sanitiser, wearing gloves and keeping the handling of the tools to a minimum. Use hand sanitiser both before and after.
  • When retrieving from and returning Econet tools to storage, wear gloves and keep the handling of tools to a minimum. Use hand sanitiser both before and after.
  • After use Econet tools should be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • First aiders must read and regularly review the guidance given by St John Ambulance and the HSE on the delivery of first aid. First aiders should consider wearing a face mask when providing first aid. See https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/unresponsive-casualty/how-to-do-cpr-on-an-adult/ and https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/first-aid-and-medicals/first-aid-certificate-coronavirus.htm.
Notes
  • In deciding whether to participate in our activities, individuals must consider their own circumstances. Those aged 70 and over are deemed vulnerable and should take extra care whatever their state of health as should those shielding.
  • If you have the symptoms of coronavirus but have a negative test result you may still be infected and should take precautions not to infect others while the symptoms persist. Details of the main symptoms can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms.
  • To minimise the risk of transferring the virus on contaminated tools, Econet may offer to loan tools.
  • If a volunteer's own tools are lost or damaged Econet will consider reasonable requests for compensation.
General Conservation Activities
Last updated: 17/06/2020 18:17:08
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. 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.
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.
Waterside working
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Drowning; Leptospirosis; Hepatitis; ill health
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers
  Hazards
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Deep or fast flowing water
  • Contact with harmful substances
  • Contact with rats urine, faeces and other bio-hazards
Controls
  • Do not work above deep or fast flowing water.
  • Avoid lone working when working next to water.
  • Identify escape routes should volunteer fall in water, which must be kept clear at all times.
  • Have lifebouy or throw line available.
  • Volunteers should have a firm stable stance and not overreach when working from bank.
  • Only work at the water's edge if that edge is clearly visible, e.g. is not obscured by vegetation, and has not undermined.
  • Avoid working by water contaminated with sewage or similar hazards.
  • Wear gloves when handling vegetation and other materials which may have been contaminated by water.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
Litter pick
Last updated: 13/06/2016 16:41:48
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Back strains; minor cuts and bruises; sickness and diarrhoea
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers
  Hazards
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Eye injuries
  • Presence of broken bottles and similar.
  • Contact with harmful substances
  • Contact with rats urine, faeces and other bio-hazards.
Controls
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment
  • Wear goggles to prevent eye injuries from protruding branches and branches under tension.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Avoid handling litter; always wear gloves and preferably use litter pickers.
  • Bags containing litter should be held away from body.
  • Provide seperate container for broken bottles and similar.
  • If sharps found, do not touch or move, highlight location and advise site owner or manager.
  • 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.
PPE
Face masks; Rigger gloves;

Litter pick: Goggles; Litter pickers;

Actual items needed may vary according to the task.

Background Information

Leptospirosis
Bacterial infection cared by rats, cattle and other animals and passed to humans either by direct contact with the tissues, urine or other secretions of an infected animal, or from water contaminated with infected urine. The infection enters the body through cuts and abrasions and the lining of the eyes and mouth. To avoid infection always cover open wounds and keep from contact with pond and river water. When working in ponds and rivers always wear strong waterproof gloves and wellington or waders.

Symptoms include mild flu-like illness. In its most severe form known as Weil's Disease, it can lead to a number of serious conditions such as jaundice and kidney failure. Symptoms usually develop 7-21 days after initial infection although rarely the incubation period can be as short as two to three days or as long as 30 days. Treatment for the illness is with antibiotics but recovery may take several weeks and in some cases months. If you are concerned you may have contracted this disease you should seek medical assistance immediately, in its most severe form untreated it can result in death.

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

Last updated:

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 at www.econetreading.org.uk/admin.

   23 September 2020 16:10 T2103143319