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Location: The Haven

People at Risk: Community members, visitors

Risk Assessors: Ruth Patchett and Sophia Foster

Date: March 2022

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General Advice

  • First Aid equipment available at all times.


  • Community members to share if they have any injuries or medical conditions that may affect their participation prior to session, incl. Covid-19 symptoms - a high temperature; a continuous cough; or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.


  • Accidents or injury will be reported immediately and logged in the accident book

  • Drugs or alcohol are not permitted on site and should be left outside. if a person is intoxicated they will be asked to return at another time


Injury from slipping, tripping and falls

Slip, trip and fall

Slip, trip, fall, cuts from sharp materials. Tetanus infection.


  • Observe land and pathways and proceed with caution when wet/icy.

  • Test surfaces before setting out on them.

  • Wear appropriate footwear.

  • Carrying of sharp tools and equipment only to be undertaken on suitable ground with points down

  • All tools and hose to be put away after use





Obstacles or unsafe materials on site for example litter, wood,

rubble, loose fencing, sharp glass or metal, nails,

fallen branches, wire

  • Observe land and pathways carefully and proceed with caution.

  • Only tread where you can see ground clearly and avoid stepping in areas with visible hazardous materials.

  • Wear appropriate footwear.

  • Recommend participants check that their tetanus protection is up to date and seek immediate medical attention if cut occurs from an object in or in contact with the soil, manure or compost.


Use of tools

Use of specialist tools for simple DIY duties e.g drills, Strimmers, chainsaw and lawnmower

Tools dropping on foot causing injury. Muscle strain and injury if tool not used correctly. Tools left on ground can ‘flip up’ if trodden on or be a trip hazard



  • Observe hazards and move with caution.

  • Alert participants to keeping their distance between people when moving through trees to avoid ‘whipping back’ of branches.

  • Check for canes and plant stems/branches before bending over garden beds.

  • Give clear instructions and (if possible) demonstrate how to use tools appropriately and safely.

  • Explain that tools are to be carried in line with the body, points down and not to be left on the ground.

  • Return tools safely to agreed tool store area when not in use.

  • Use tools appropriate for the job

  • All gardening tools must be maintained

  • Specialist tools only to be used by trained and confident members with experience of using the tools in question and/or after receiving an induction.

  • Appropriate PPE to be worn when handling specialist tools, eg face mask when using a strimmer.

  • Observe and be aware of open water.

  • Stay away from edges that may be slippery.

  • Do not enter water for any reason.

  • Wash hands immediately after touching standing water.


Eye injury

Branches, plants and

garden canes

Fall, slip, drowning. Water borne diseases.

Water (pond, stream. standing water)

  • Observe area for signs of wildlife.

  • Avoid disturbing or working near to insect nests.

  • Avoid areas with signs of rodents.

  • Members need to be informed if anyone has allergic reactions to insect bites. If stung, should seek first aid/medical attention or call 999 immediately if serious reaction is observed. Epipen should be kept on site


Stings, bites, diseases.

Insects or rodents


Handling Soil

Cuts, diseases



  • Wash hands thoroughly after touching plants or soil/compost and before handling food and drink

  • Either cover any cuts or abrasions before garden sessions or ensure gloves are worn

  • Observe soil on a spade or trowel before handling with your fingers.

  • Check for sharp objects or animal faeces embedded in sample before handling.

  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling soil.

  • Do not handle soil at all if pregnant.

Handling Plants

Thorns and Stings


Water butts

  • Do not wash hands with water from the butt

  • When using water from the butts for watering members must wash their hands afterwards

  • Water butts should be emptied and washed once a year. This should be carried our using gloves and a face mask

  • Water butts to be kept in a cool position whenever possible

  • Observe plants carefully and identify confidently before handling.

  • Avoid handling known toxic or stinging plants.

  • Handle with gloves or tools if unknown species or you are at all unsure about its identity.

  • Do not eat any plant.

  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling samples.


Water bourne bugs and infections


  • Ensure you have adequately warm, waterproof clothing and footwear for cold/wet weather.

  • Take shelter where possible and go indoors to get warm/dry if needed.


Sunburn / Sunstroke


  • Wear protective clothing and a hat in sunny conditions.

  • Use sun cream or cover up to prevent burning.

  • Seek shade and avoid excessive exposure to sun.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Appropriate footwear is necessary in all weathers.

Chill, Hyperthermia

Wet and Cold conditions


Extreme Weather Conditions

  • Do not attempt outdoor work during extreme weather events if weather warnings have been issued.

  • Stay away from unsecured structures or trees in high winds.

Falling debris causing injury. Wind or rain warnings for dangerous conditions e.g. flooding or falling trees.


Risk of Fire

Burns due to misuse of outdoor bonfire.


Risk of fire in roundhouse due to embers falling from fire into gap between paving slabs or onto wooden floor


smoke inhalation for people with COPD


Spread or infection from Covid-19

Low/ Medium

  • Provide water and soap for hand washing, and/or hand sanitiser

  • First Aid Kit contains disposable face masks

  • Ask community members displaying symptoms or feeling unwell to go home and return when symptom free

  • Ensure physical distancing of 2m+

  • As far as possible, minimise sharing of tools. If tools are shared, sanitise frequently

  • Strongly discourage the sharing of mugs, plates, cutlery

Use of kitchen equipment

Burning from hot water/ kettle

Cut from using knives


  • Ensure that hot water urn is in a stable position - no power cables trailing, not close to any edges.

  • First aid kit to be kept on hand at all times

  • members made aware of possible risks involved with kitchen work – cuts and burns

  • Ensure that the space around the hot water urn is not crowded with people

  • Water spillages to be cleaned up immediately

  • Fire exits kept clear at all times

  • Everyone to be made aware of Fire Evacuation Procedure and assembly point

  • Everyone to be made aware of relevant fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and blankets

  • Door to woodburner to be kept closed to minimise risk of fire or carbon monoxide release and smoke inhalation

  • Fires should be fully extinguished when site is vacated and care taken over live embers in roundhouse.



Physical injury due to over exertion

Physical Exertion

  • Ensure regular rest and refreshment breaks

  • Members are not required to participate in activities if they feel unable

  • Difficulty of activities planned to the ability of participants.

  • Correct lifting posture to eliminate risk of back strain


Anti-social or triggering interactions with adults with complex needs

Lone Working

  • Open up in pairs whenever possible

  • Ensure a buddy system is in place and that another member knows where you are

  • Lone workers must have suitable skills and knowledge to enable safe working

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