Health and safety statement

KCDC organizes regular volunteer days for maintenance of the path network around the town.   There is therefore a duty of care to ensure that this activity takes places safely

On volunteer days volunteers meet to work on path maintenance as a coordinated group. A designated coordinator manages the site and activity.  It is considered that the risks involved are relatively low, potential injuries are primarily caused by – trips and falls, manual handling, trapping/striking while moving stones and misuse or failure of hand tools.  To minimise these risks KCDC will provide appropriate induction, training, supervision, and site management, but at all times will expect individuals to take reasonable responsibility for their own actions. 

The general profile of volunteers is older, many retired, with some experience in manual handling, tool use and a good deal of life experience including common sense. Although it is not the intention to exclude anyone from volunteering, individuals are expected to be fit enough to reach the work site and participate in the planned tasks . Parents or guardians must take direct responsibility for any minors throughout all activity. 

The work locations of the maintenance are usually close to the town, but may be remote from roads. A first aid kit will be provided on site and an emergency plan in place for incidents.

All volunteers are to be sent a copy of this statement and rules prior to commencing activity. This is to be updated annually on the first activity day.

Adopted rules for footpath maintenance days:

  1. Control: A person will be designated as the coordinator for the specific work party activity. They will take responsibility for briefing volunteers on health and safety and managing the health and safety of the site.
  2. Training :Individuals will be given an induction/training brief on using the tools, equipment and appropriate PPE. (Individuals will generally supply their own PPE). At least one member of the group will be first aid trained.
  3. Site management: Volunteers need to be aware of others working on site as well as the public who may be walking on the path. Public may be requested to walk around the site or if it is deemed safe to do so walk through the site when all activity should cease.   The site will always be left in a safe manner, with no additional hazards created for public walking on the path.
  4. Action in the event of an accident. A first aid kit will be available on site as well as a mobile phone. In cases of severe injury emergency services will be contacted. Given the remoteness of some locations this may require a mountain rescue response. 
  5. Environmental protection.  All efforts will be made to limit the ecological impact of this work. Good path design will lead to less risk of paths spreading laterally and inevitably there will be short term disruption to habitats, which is thought to be outweighed by the longer term benefits.  
  6. Any accident or near miss will be reported as appropriate and recorded in the minutes of the next available meeting of the directors of KCDC.

Additional risks

Use of the power barrow and other mechanical devices such as a wacker plate.  

The use of machinery on site creates additional risk and it is therefore necessary that all volunteers are aware of safety procedures when either directly operating a machine or are in the vicinity of a machine.

  1. Anyone using mechanical devices must have a full induction by a more experienced operator. This includes a safety briefing and shadowing of the apprentice operator until they are competent to use the machine. Given that operations are not going on daily, regular updates and familiarization will be necessary. This is particularly relevant as there may be long gaps between occasions of working with machines
  2. Power barrow – operators should be familiar with the operating instructions (attached below) prior to using the machine.
  3. The power barrow has a number of controls that need to be used simultaneously; whenever possible a second person should walk alongside the operator and advise the operator of potential hazards.
  4. All operators must be familiar with stopping the machine in an emergency. The immediate action is to let go of the clutch lever. This causes the machine to stop.  
  5. Volunteers must be made aware of the planned activity using the barrow and must never stand immediately in front of the machine when it is manoeuvring.

Statement last reviewed in December 2023 and accepted by the KCDC Board in January 2024.