Econet Risk Assessment [Base Document]
Assessment: Bracken clearance
Scope: Activity [Task]
Assessment Summary: Bracken clearance;
Last updated: 02/07/2023 11:32:08
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Poisonous bites; asthma and lung tissue damage; loss of digits; cuts; sprains and bruises; Lyme disease
Typical groups at risk
- Contact with hand tools
- Slips, trips and falls
- Bracken cuts
- Adder bites
- Bracken spore inhalation
- Lyme disease from tick bites
- 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 other injuries associated with vibration and repetitive movements.
- Wear gloves when handling bracken to prevent cuts.
- Avoid bracken clearance in late summer when spores are released; provide dust masks.
- Provide information on adder identification and warning not to approach.
- Wear sturdy boots and long trousers to avoid adder bits.
- 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.
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, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/
Last updated: 22/03/2021 13:12:20