Kettering Allotments - Health and Safety policy version 3 (2014)

 

Introduction

 

We all want to enjoy our allotments and avoid injuries and anything else that would harm members, visitors or the environment. The aim of our Health and Safety Policy is to help our members maintain and improve their safety. This will be done by learning from other allotments and seeking advice from other organisations. We also learn from any near misses or accidents and find ways to improve.

 

Much of this policy has been written by looking at best practice elsewhere, especially the excellent advice available from The Allotments Regeneration Initiative (ARI).

 

The following was copied from the ARI introductory letter on their website in 2010. (Their website is no longer there):-

 

http://www.farmgarden.org.uk/ari/documents/ARI_HS_intro_letter_2010.pdf

 

Under civil law anyone involved in allotment management has a common duty

of care to ensure that their allotment sites are run in as safe and appropriate

manner as possible, as set out in the Occupiers' Liability Act, 1957.

This duty of care is extended towards all people accessing the allotment site

and its boundaries, including plotholders, association officers carrying out

duties, members of the public, bona fide visitors, intruders, volunteers, and

allotment authority staff. There are also environmental and animal husbandry

laws to be observed.

Carrying out risk assessments is straightforward. Health and safety only

becomes unmanageable when responsibilities are neglected.

All activities carry an element of risk and allotment gardening is no exception.

Everyone needs to take health and safety seriously but it is also important not

to become litigation paranoid, turning allotments into bland, unusable

landscapes.

Plotholders also have a duty of care and managers are recommended to inform

them of issues in this pack that are directly relevant to them. It is beyond the

scope of the pack to give advice about individual gardening activities.

Please note: the contents of the guide do not provide specific legal advice.

Never assume what your responsibilities are, if in doubt seek legal advice.

Members of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners can

access free legal advice. Some solicitors work on a pro bono (free) basis.

 

 

Policy details

 

  1. This policy will be published on our website and shared with all members.
  2. All members are to be reminded of their need to follow the policy and fulfill their duty of care as outlined above.
  3. A hazards checklist to be published and used by all members. This is a working document, so should be amended periodically and reviewed by the committee annually whether amendments have been made or not.
  4. Field stewards and committee members are to check their fields periodically for hazards such as those listed in the Hazards checklist.
  5. Any new hazards to be reported to the field steward and committee (eg a storm makes a tree hazardous).
  6. Field stewards to work with members in order to reduce the risks of known hazards. Sample risk assessment forms are available from ARI website (see below for link).
  7. Field stewards and committee members will report to regular committee meetings on health and safety.
  8. Any incidents or near misses to be given particular consideration, as they will help us improve and prevent recurrence.
  9. This policy to be reviewed every three years. Date for next review summer 2017.

 

Internet links for further advice.

 

Allotment org.uk sensible advice see link below:-

 

http://www.allotment.org.uk/articles/Allotment_Health_and_Safety.php

 

Sample risk assessment forms