Safety Talks

Tools and Safety Talks

A talk on tools and safety is essential.


Advice from TCV’s community pages [Linked page now removed]

 This helps to:

Prevent accidents

Ensure volunteers know how to use tools efficiently, so they are not wasting their efforts

Avoid damage to expensive tools

Ensure the correct tool is used for each aspect of the job

Obviously the length of the tools demonstration will depend upon the complexity of the job and the experience of the volunteers. Try to remember the following:


  • Ask if everyone can hear you – you might have someone hearing impaired in your group or a shy person standing at the back.
  • If your volunteers are experienced, get each one to demonstrate a tool in turn. There is a tendency for experienced volunteers to forget the rules of working in a group.
  • Don’t spend too long, 10 minutes is enough for most people. If it is cold get going quickly after demonstrating simple tools; you can always explain how to use others as you come to them. Some tools are better demonstrated to a small group anyway.
  • Explain how and why to sharpen and care for edged tools.
  • Encourage new volunteers to ask if they are unsure about tool use, and help them use tools correctly whenever necessary.
  • Don’t forget the Safety Talk is about more than just tools
  • You should tell people about the first aid kit and first aider
  • Explain to the group what they need to know about the hazards and measures you all need to take to reduce these – refer to a written Risk Assessment. Remind the volunteers it is their responsibility to look after themselves and others.
  • Check someone has a mobile phone with a signal and some battery left.


If you are in any doubt about the safe working method of an activity, then that activity must not take place. If you would like to receive guidance in the use of tools or in the delivery of a particular activity, please  contact your Community Green Spaces Project Manager to arrange this.


> Tool Use and Sample Tool Talks