Health & Safety Policy and Induction Notes

Please download, print and complete the file below, and remember to bring it with you on your first day volunteering with us.

Please ensure you read through these notes before you commence work at the charity. This applies to all staff, guests, volunteers and persons undertaking work experience. You will be asked to sign the Declaration on Page 11 (a copy of which the charity will retain) acknowledging that you have read these notes and understood them.

Health & Safety Notes

The Charity recognises its responsibilities for the health, safety and welfare of its employees, volunteers, trainees and members of the public visiting the facility.

In accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act, it will maintain safe working conditions and ensure that all staff, trainees and volunteers are trained and supervised to ensure safe systems of working.

In this regard the Charity provides both Employee and Public Liability Insurance which covers all areas of staff, volunteer and work experience operations.

It is incumbent on staff (employees, volunteers, trainees etc.) to fully co-operate with these measures, and ensure they follow all the guidelines and protocols, which are put in place to minimise risk to themselves, their co-workers and members of the public.

Violations of the Health & Safety Policy may be regarded as gross misconduct and could result in summary dismissal, or termination of a placement.

The Charity requires that whilst attending work, employees, trainees and volunteers conduct themselves in a safe and proper manner, fully abiding by the standards of conduct and guidelines set out in this document.

With regard to young persons and children, Regulation 19 of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 imposes duties on Employers to safeguard the health and safety of young persons (under 18 years of age) and children, (under 16 years of age). It also requires employers to inform the parent/guardian of the young person or child of the hazards associated with the workplace and any significant risks which they represent, along with an explanation of the employer’s control measures which are in place to reduce any significant risks.

This information may be given verbally but it is obviously more acceptable to do so in a written form. Risk Assessment notes are included in this document. If you are the parent/guardian of a young person or child who will be carrying out a work placement at the Trust, you must read through the Risk Assessment, and if satisfied, sign the Declaration, keeping one copy for your records and returning the second copy to the Trust before or on the day of commencement of the work placement. A young person or child who does not return this document will not be allowed to commence work.

Protective Clothing and Equipment

Protective clothing and equipment must be used as and when directed.

Follow all instructions carefully when using cleaning agents.

First Aid

In the event of an accident, (no matter how slight) it must be reported to the Duty Ambulance Driver or senior staff member, who will take appropriate action.

All incidents must be entered in the Accident Book, kept in the Charity’s office at Broadwater Forest Wildlife Centre, Fairview Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9LU.

The FIRST AID BOX is also situated in the office at the above address.

Fire Procedure

On hearing the fire alarm (unless you have been informed that it is an equipment test), proceed immediately to the assembly point in the car park and await further instructions.

In the event of a fire breaking out, the Duty Ambulance driver or other member of staff will call the Fire Brigade. Small fires may be fought with the available Fire Extinguishers to facilitate evacuation or if it is perceived there is no threat to human life.

All persons should remove themselves from the immediate danger of the fire. Preservation of life is paramount.

The Duty Ambulance driver or other staff member will ensure that everyone is accounted for.

All animals should remain in their enclosures unless it is perceived they are at risk, whereupon the Duty Ambulance Driver will instigate rescue as and when it is judged safe to do so.

Manual Handling

Care should be taken when lifting or carrying heavy items. Ensure you keep your back straight and bend at the knees when lifting. Any item over 25kg must not be lifted manually. Find a colleague to assist you or use a wheelbarrow or sack barrow. A young person or child must not engage in lifting heavy objects.

You should be aware of your own limitations when lifting (a history of back problems will affect your ability to lift many items). Ensure the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member is aware of any such problems.

Exposure to wild animals

Wild animals kept at the hospital are capable of inflicting injury. Only authorised staff may work with such species, using the appropriate safety and handling equipment.

No wild animal should be handled unless authorised by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Do not expose yourself to any danger. Keep your face and hands clear of cage bars and away from animals being handled by others.

Do not at any time put yourself, other members of staff or the public at risk. If in doubt, please speak to the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Staff, volunteers and persons on work placements must not handle or enter any cage containing an animal unless directed to do so by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Wildlife Medication

The charity is able to administer a range of drugs to help assist in the care and treatment of casualties. These drugs are strictly controlled and kept under lock and key, and must not be handled or used by unauthorised persons.

Child Protection

Since the 2004 Children’s Act came into force, it is now an explicit duty to safeguard children and young people. This has been extended across all statutory and voluntary agencies. With this in mind:

Avoid situations where you are alone with a child or young person under 18 years of age.

All physical contact between adults, young persons and children should be avoided.

Prior to any photographs being taken in the workplace (for example for promotional purposes), parental consent must be obtained.

If you are concerned about anything in relation to this, please talk to the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Presentation and Dress Code

All staff, volunteers and work experience students are representatives of the Charity and as such, their behaviour and appearance should convey the attitudes and ethics of the Charity. We therefore wish you to observe the following:

No smoking anywhere on the premises within the gate onto Fairview Lane nor inside wildlife ambulances or other vehicles owned or used by the Charity.

Do not eat in the treatment unit. With the permission of the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member, the office may be used for the purpose. Otherwise, you may eat in the Staff Room shared with Folly Wildlife.

The use of personal music players is prohibited.

No alcohol to be brought onto the premises.

Mobile phones must not be used routinely during work periods. Text messages of an urgent nature may be answered if it does not interfere with work.

Zoonotic infections and hygiene

A zoonotic infection is one that can be transmitted from an animal to a human.

Some of these infections can be harmful, and on very rare occasions, fatal to humans.

Good hygiene practice reduces the risk, but all staff should be aware that there is always a risk of infection, even after the application of stringent precautions. The Charity takes all practical precautions to reduce this risk, but it is incumbent on staff, volunteers and work experience students to follow all instructions and protocols to help keep themselves and others safe.

In view of this, any person with a history of ill-health, suffers from any condition which may impair their immune system, has a history of asthma or a bronchial condition, or has any animal related allergy, may wish to consult their GP before commencing work at the Charity.

Ensure you use protective clothing as directed.

Vinyl gloves should be worn for examinations and cleaning procedures.

Follow carefully all protocols regarding cleaning.

Disposable aprons are available, and should be used as directed by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Ensure you thoroughly wash your hands after working with any animals, and especially before eating food. Soap and anti-bacterial alcohol gel is available in the treatment unit, office and general areas of the premises.

Follow all instructions and the guidance of the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member regarding hygiene issues.

Be aware that some animals may be carriers of potentially harmful diseases or parasites and may not in themselves show symptoms of being affected.

Infections that may be transmitted to humans from animals include those associated with ringworm, roundworm and salmonella and other concerns, such as sarcoptic mange and Lymes Disease may be contracted from parasites on an animal.

Tetanus

All persons working at the Charity must be up to date with tetanus inoculation. If in doubt as to your status, please contact your GP.

Induction Notes

Induction notes for Permanent Staff, Work Experience Students and all Volunteer Staff

The aim of this document is to ensure that all new staff, work experience students and volunteers are fully briefed about the Charity’s work and have an understanding of working conditions and safety regulations.

Please ensure you read these notes before you commence work at the Charity. If there is something you do not understand, or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

You (or your parent or guardian) will be asked to sign a Declaration acknowledging that you/they have done so before you commence work.

Health & Safety Notes

  • The Health & Safety Notes in the first part of this document, must be read and understood by all permanent and part-time staff, volunteers, guests and students undertaking work placements at the Charity. You are required to sign the Declaration at the bottom of this document (which you keep for further reference), and a copy will be retained by the Trust.
  • The document should be returned at the earliest opportunity and certainly prior to your first commencing work day.

Working Hours and Attendance

  • Hours and days of work may vary according to the season but are generally open-ended between the hours of 9.00am and 9.00pm. Work experience students at the Broadwater hospital site must be available to start work promptly at 9.00am, with shifts varying between 3 and 12 hours depending on circumstances and mutual agreement. Work experience students must adhere to their agreed hours of work.
  • Volunteers working at the Broadwater hospital site should ensure that Duty Ambulance Drivers are given reasonable notice of any absence to enable other arrangements for staff cover to be made.
  • Punctuality is extremely important. Lateness, unless caused by transport delays or another valid reason, is not acceptable as it will adversely affect other staff on the relevant shift
  • Staff and volunteers should not notify absences by email or text, but should use the Charity’s main phone numbers – 01892 731565 and/or 01892 824111.

Hygiene

After dealing with animals, and before any breaks, it is essential that staff wash their hands, especially before eating.

Dealing with the General Public

  • Be polite at all times and be ready to assist members of the public or visitors with their enquiries.
  • You may be asked a question to which you do not know the answer. In this instance admit you don’t know, but you will try and find out the answer for them.
  • If there is a complaint, refer the matter to the Duty Ambulance Driver or a senior staff member.
  • If there is a concern for the welfare of any animal take the matter straight to the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.
  • Access to the public is restricted and they must not enter any restricted areas, unless authorised by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member. Members of the public are not allowed ‘to have a look around’ under any circumstances except by prior arrangement and children must be kept under close supervision by their parents/guardians.

Hazards to the Public

  • Diseases transmitted from animals to humans can also affect visitors to the hospital, especially children or the elderly. Staff must ensure that there is no risk to visitors. Physical contact between visitors and animals in the Charity’s care is not allowed. Hand-sanitizer is stationed in the office and treatment unit for use by visitors.
  • Members of the public bringing in a casualty which it is suspected may be infectious, should be offered the opportunity to wash their hands.

Animal admissions

  • Animals may only be admitted by the Duty Ambulance Driver, other senior staff member or persons trained and designated to do so. Unauthorised staff must not handle or admit any animal.

Prohibitions

  • Do not use any equipment or medications unless directed by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.
  • Do not switch on/off or adjust equipment such as heat lamps, fans, air-conditioners or oil-filled radiators, or touch any other thermostatic controls in animal areas/hospital cages without speaking to Duty Ambulance Driver or senior staff member first.
  • Some cages may be noted “Barrier Treatment”. These contain animals that might be carrying a transmittable disease and these should only be handled and treated by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member. This is both for the protection of staff and of animals in nearby cages and no contact is allowed with these without specific consent and advice.
  • Do not enter any area of the site for which you do not have express permission.
  • Staff family members or friends of staff are not allowed on the premises unless by prior permission by the Duty Ambulance Driver or other senior staff member.

Risk Assessment

Animal bites and scratches – uncommon if animals are handled correctly, respectfully and under supervision.

Slipping or falling – the hospital unit has non-slip flooring. Falling is only likely in the event equipment is badly placed by the user. Don’t be that user.

Ingestion of toxic substances – our cleaning agents are of the lowest toxicity possible. They are, however, essentially anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic and inhalation should be avoided by minimising spraying and using according to manufacturer instructions.

Parasites – all animal species are prone to carrying fleas, which bites can cause mild inflammation and irritation; sarcoptic mange may be present even if not apparent and transmission can cause an irritating rash; ticks may potentially carry Lymes Disease (though our cachment area is presently adjudged free of the disease); toxoplasmosis can cause a mild influenza-like illness and is potentially dangerous to unborn children; roundworm, hookworm and lungworm are all potentially contagious but not easily transmitted under good hygiene practice.

Accidents – can happen during the course of rescuing a mobile animal and can include the usual range of cuts, bruises and grazes. After taking advice and instructions from Duty Ambulance Driver, your welfare is necessarily down to your own care and self-preservation. Basic rule: if in doubt, don’t!

Health & Safety/Induction Notes checklist/Declaration

A Health & Safety and Induction Notes check list is downloadable. When you have read this document, please go through the checklist carefully and tick the boxes to confirm that you understand the points raised, referring back to the notes if necessary. Then sign both parts of the Declaration downloadable below. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification if anything is unclear.

If you are under 18 years of age, please ask your parent or guardian to read through these notes with you. They must then sign the two parts of the Declaration on your behalf.

Please keep copies of both the Induction Notes and Declaration (we can copy these for you if necessary).

You will not be able to carry out your work experience placement with the Charity if it has not been signed and returned before or on the day you commence work.

Download your health & safety induction pack

Please download, print and complete this form, and remember to bring it with you on your first day volunteering with us.

Download file
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    Chris Packham, Patron

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01892 731565