Contact with hand tools
Working in waders, especially if they fill with water
Deep or fast flowing water
Slips, trips and falls
Contact with harmful substances
Manual handling wet materials
Contact with rats urine, faeces and other bio-hazards
Contact with dead animals, or water polluted by them
Tools: See “General Conservation Activities” risk assessment
Group members given training in working in waders (i.e. getting in and out of waders)..
Do not work in or above water above waist depth. Do not work in fast flowing water.
For work in water more than welly depth, there must be another person on the bank with immediate access to a rope or buoyancy aid.
Avoid lone working when working in or next to water.
Identify escape routes which must be kept clear at all at all times to ensure volunteers can get out of water quickly and safely.
Provide lifebuoy or throwline if appropriate.
Went working in water movement should be slow and measured. Check for hidden or buried objects, sudden changes in depth and that bottom is stable and will bear volunteer’s weight.
When working on soft ground check that it will bear volunteer’s weight. Use duckboards if available.
Sharp or swinging tools not to be used when wet.
Volunteers must have a firm stable stance before using tools or handling wet material.
Do 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.
Do not work in water contaminated with sewage.
Strong waterproof gloves must be worn to handle debris and rubbish from water. In deeper water wear pond gloves to protect arms.
Dead animals must not be touched – inform the site owner or manager.
Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
Advise volunteers that wet material is heavier than its dry counterpart.
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.
Store tools and debris away from walkways and banks.