Health and Safety Policy


The Friends of Midsummer Common (FoMC) Committee has overall responsibility for health and safety in the organisation, and for ensuring that it fulfils all its legal responsibilities. It recognises that it is the duty of Committee members and volunteers to uphold this policy and to access the necessary funds and resources to put it into practice. The FoMC Committee is committed to ensuring that all its activities are safe and it will do whatever it can to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all members, volunteers and visitors and ensuring that risks are minimised at all times. It will observe the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all relevant regulations and codes of practice made under it.

FoMC Responsibilities

The Committee will appoint a Community Orchard Manager to be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of health and safety policies and recommending changes where necessary. All accidents or unsafe incidents will be investigated by this person on behalf of the Committee as soon as possible and then reported to the committee at the next available committee meeting. This person is responsible for:

  • assessing the risk to the health and safety of volunteers, members and visitors and identifying what measures are needed to comply with its health and safety obligations;
  • ensuring that venues are safe and without risk to health including safe ways of entering and leaving;
  • ensuring that equipment is safe and well maintained;
  • providing information, instruction, training and supervision to volunteers in safe working methods and procedures as required;
  • encouraging volunteers and members to co-operate in ensuring safe and healthy conditions and systems by effective joint consultation; and
  • establishing emergency procedures as required.

Volunteer Responsibilities

All FoMC Volunteers will ensure that they:

  • are aware of the contents of this safety policy;
  • comply with this policy;
  • take care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions or omissions;
  • will report all accidents, or unsafe situations, and any near misses (things which could have led to an accident), to the Chair or another Committee member at once;
  • record accidents or near misses when working in the Orchard or on the Common in the accident book kept in the orchard tool shed;
  • are aware of all fire procedures for the area in which they are working; and
  • report anything which they think could be in any way unsafe.

Risk Assessment

The Community Orchard Manager will ensure that all tasks are assessed in line with the current relevant legislation. Assessments will be repeated when there is:

  • a change in legislation;
  • an event to organise;
  • significant change in work carried out;
  • transfer to new technology; or
  • any other reason which makes the original assessment not valid.

Training

To comply with legislation and to promote the health, safety and welfare of volunteers, health and safety training will be provided:

  • at inductions;
  • on the introduction of new tools and equipment;
  • when changes are made to venues; and
  • when training needs are identified during risk assessments.

Resolving health and safety problems

Any volunteer with a health and safety concern must first tell the Orchard Manager. If, after investigation, the problem is not corrected in a reasonable time or manner, or the Orchard Manager decides that no action is required but the volunteer is not satisfied with this, the volunteer may then refer the matter to theFoMC Committee Chair. This must be in writing. If the volunteer is still dissatisfied, the matter will be entered on the agenda for the next meeting of the Committee.

This policy will be reviewed every 3 years, unless there are changes to legislation and/or difficulties in practical application.
October 2020