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It is the policy of Growing Roots Community Interest Company to make provisions to   prevent personal injury and health hazards to all employees, volunteers and participants in its horticultural activities that they set up and minimise damage to property during activities.

The day-to-day management of health and safety at horticultural sessions will be delegated to the employee leading the session. Incidents requiring outside medical help will be investigated by the directors.  Advice will be sought from experts when appropriate.

The employee leading a session will be first-aid trained, have first aid-equipment, accident at work book and log books for machinery.

This policy was approved in August 2013 and will be reviewed in August 2014.


Tools and other resources


Growing Roots will:

  • Provide tools and equipment which are appropriate to the job and are in a good condition rendering them safe for use.  Where possible, adapted tools will be provided.
  • Provide adequate training and supervision in the use, maintenance and storage of tools to all participants, employees and volunteers, so that activities are carried out safely and efficiently.
  • Ensure that information and instructions from manufacturers of machinery is available for users.
  • Carry out regular safety inspection of tools owned by Growing Roots.  Any electrical equipment owned by Growing Roots will be checked by an outside contractor annually.
  • Avoid using very toxic plants.
  • Make participants aware of minor toxicity of some plants if necessary.
  • Ask participants to list any allergies that they have in their application form and ensure that all employees and volunteers are aware of any allergies that participants have informed them of and that this information is available at each session.
  • Growing Roots intends to use organic methods for growing.  However, any substances deemed hazardous to health will be used appropriately, stored and disposed of according to current COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations.




Growing Roots will:

  • Minimise risk of participants contracting Repetitive Strain Injury by ensuring that there are changes of activity where appropriate.
  • Provide some personal protective equipment such as eye goggles and gloves when appropriate for the planned activity.  Growing Roots may request that participants wear clothing appropriate to the weather – sunhats for sun, waterproof clothing for wet weather and coats/fleeces for cold weather and advise them to wear steel-capped boots if possible.
  • Allow only employees who have passed the Local Authority’s minibus driving test to drive a minibus.
  • Make risk assessments of each activity and place where they are to be carried out.  These risk assessment will be available at each session for employees and volunteers to consult.
  • Recommend that participants, employees and volunteers have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination and cover any cuts on hands before participating in activities. 
  • Purchase adequate Public Liability Insurance to cover activities.
  • Ensure that instructions are communicated in a form that is appropriate to participants.
  • Establish ground rules with each group and re-state these at the beginning of each session to ensure that basic health and safety principles are adhered to.
  • Ensure that participants, employees and volunteers are made aware of hand-washing facilities and toilets available at each venue and of venues where they are not available
  • Ensure that participants, employees and volunteers are aware of each venue’s fire drill and assembly point.