PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT OUR LOCAL COUNCIL SO DON’T ALL SHOUT AT ONCE! But it’ll give you all something to think about.
Following a recent risk assessment carried out on all allotment sites, the council have been advised that they should display the health and safety guidelines below on all allotment sites. We representatives have been asked to be placed on each entrance gate, notice boards, site huts, trading huts etc.
- Do not drink the water from the tanks or standpipes.
- Wear gloves whenever handling soil, compost, fertiliser or pesticides. Thin latex (or latex-free for allergy sufferers) gloves can be worn for delicate work.
- Do not open bags of compost or potting media with your head right over it.
- Fold over the top of compost bags when not in use.
- Avoid potting-up in confined spaces.
- Moisten dry potting media before use.
- Also dampen down dry compost heaps before turning or use.
- Consider wearing a dust mask when turning compost heaps and handling potting media or other dusty materials.
- Avoiding storing potting media in greenhouses as these will heat up and may encourage Legionella.
- Empty the water out of garden hoses after use and do not leave full hoses in the sun after use.
- Avoid splashing water around when watering pots.
- Wear gloves and keep arms covered when pruning plants that can cause irritations; e.g. ivy (Hedera), Fremontodendron, Euphorbia or rue (Ruta).
- Only shred woody prunings in an open, well-ventilated area.
- Ensure tetanus jabs are up to date. Otherwise, see your local GP for a tetanus vaccination if you have cut yourself on a plant or got soil or manure in an open wound.
- Discourage rats by securing rubbish in bins and not putting cooked food on the compost heap.
- Rat-proof compost bins with wire mesh if necessary. To reduce the risks from salmonella avoid using rat-infested compost on edible crops, especially those not cooked before consumption.
- Protect from water-borne diseases such as Weil’s disease by wearing waterproof gloves, clothing and boots when clearing out ponds.
- Always wash your hands after gardening and especially before eating.
- Keep a hand sterilising gel down in the potting shed if clean water is not available.
- Children should always be accompanied by an adult and supervised on site.
It was observed by one of the site representatives that the rules regarding bonfires were not incorporated and that fires are only allowed when the water supply is turned off.
Concern was also expressed on the lack of any risk assessments regarding the use of hosepipes as no mention is made of trip hazards, proper assembling of hose pipes nor proper storing.