We take Health & Safety seriously.

Please look through our Health & Safety procedures before signing up as a volunteer at the bottom of the page.

Health and Safety Procedure – Volunteers (the necessary boring bit)


1. Introduction
2. Legal Requirements
3. Management Responsibility
3.1 Responsibilities of the Farm
3.2 Responsibilities of volunteers
4. Supervision
4.1 Practical Activities
4.2 Indirect Supervision
4.3 Lone working
5. Standards of Behaviour
6. Reporting Accidents, Incidents and Issues
7. Volunteer Induction sheet (to be completed, signed and returned to the office)

1. Introduction

Greenslate Community Farm Ltd is a working farm which works under Permaculture principles and works directly with a wide range of different individuals and groups. The farm is also open to the general public and allotment plot holders who are able to access the site at any time. We must ensure that the farm environment is a safe place to work and visit and that all visitors and site users are fully aware of any health and safety hazards on site. 

For more details about the farms aims and objectives please ask for a copy of the business plan from the office.

For more details about Permaculture, please visit www.permaculture.org.uk

2. Legal Requirements

All workers, including volunteers, have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Greenslate Farm conducts specific risk assessments for the activities we carry out and the environment in which we are working. Volunteers should ensure that they are familiar with the risk assessment for whatever task they are undertaking, and should ask the duty member of staff if they are unsure about anything. All risk assessments are reviewed and updated annually and also in the event of any significant accident or incident.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Responsibilities of the Farm

  • To undertake risk assessments and to implement any necessary controls.
  • To communicate health and safety procedures and risk assessments.
  • To consult and work with staff and volunteers in order to protect everyone from harm in the workplace.
  • To provide appropriate health and safety training free of charge.
  • To provide any necessary personal protective equipment free of charge.
  • To provide toilets, washing facilities and drinking water.
  • To provide adequate first-aid facilities.
  • To report and record accidents and incidents at work.
  • To provide insurance that covers staff and volunteers in the event of sickness or injury caused by work. 

3.2 Responsibilities of volunteers

  • To follow any training received when using any work items and equipment provided by Greenslate Community Farm.
  • To follow the instructions of the member of staff in charge when undertaking projects and activities at the farm.
  • To take reasonable care of their own and other people’s health and safety.
  • To co-operate with Greenslate Community Farm in compliance with and development of health and safety procedures and practices.
  • To inform the lead volunteer co-ordinator / supervising staff of any known medical conditions,illness, injury or medication which may exacerbate the risk of accident or injury.
  • To report any potential hazards on site and any instance whereby the work or inadequate precautions present a risk to health.
  • To ensure that any tools or equipment are returned to the correct place, following use and any breakages or problems with equipment are reported to the duty member of staff.
  • To ensure that the site and buildings are left tidy and safe after a work activity has taken place.

4. Supervision

4.1 Practical activities

All practical activities will be supervised by a member of staff who is fully competent in delivering that activity and who is a first aider. The supervising member of staff is responsible for communicating relevant risk assessments, ensuring volunteers are adequately equipped and dressed for the task, and monitoring the safe progress of the task. In the event of an emergency involving injury or illness staff are responsible for administering first aid, contacting the emergency services as necessary, ensuring that any potentially dangerous situation is made safe, and subsequently for reporting the incident appropriately (i.e. in the accident book or online via RIDDOR). In the event of a fire they are responsible for following fire procedures.

4.2 Indirect Supervision

Key volunteers may undertake practical activities on site provided they are competent in that activity, have read and understood the risk assessment for the activity, and have made the duty member of staff aware. In the event of accident or injury this should be reported to the duty member of a staff. Practical activities should not be undertaken by volunteers outside of office hours when there is no first aider on site.

4.3 Lone working

Volunteers should not undertake any practical work alone apart from animal feeding and husbandry, and should ideally carry a mobile phone or ensure that someone knows of their whereabouts and expected time of return.

5. Standards of Behaviour

  1. All volunteers are responsible for their own personal safety and that of any children or vulnerable adults in their care whilst on site. Volunteers should observe health and safety instructions displayed on site. Staff of Greenslate Farm will provide appropriate supervision and care of volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for reporting potential hazards on site and all accidents and incidents.
  2. All volunteers and staff are considered as representatives of Greenslate Community Farm by visitors, clients and visiting groups. Greenslate Community Farm also operates a Care Farm and Educational activities centre which works with children and adults with physical and learning disabilities which requires a high level of professionalism, sometimes more so than regular working environments therefore, staff and volunteers must adhere to the following code of conduct:
  3. Swearing, foul language and offensive subject matter will not be tolerated.
  4. Staff and volunteers must not attend sessions under the influence, or still under the effects of alcohol or drug use or take such substances whilst on site.
  5. The farm operates a no smoking policy in the communal and work areas. Staff and volunteers must use the designated smoking areas only such as the carpark and not actively promote smoking sessions to other clients, visitors or visiting groups. Such areas where smoking will not be tolerated is the classroom, classroom veranda, shop cabin, cabin veranda, inside polytunnels, wearing sheds, animal enclosures, visitor areas, build areas or wood work stations.
  6. It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to dress appropriately for activities and tasks on the farm, and refrain from wearing clothing containing offensive slogans or those deemed to be of a revealing nature. Nudity will not be tolerated.
    Staff and volunteers must understand that other staff and volunteers may have their own roles and responsibilities to undertake which may be different to their own. If it is felt that there is a need to question an action of another, staff and volunteers must do so to the co-ordinator in the absence of visitors, clients and visiting groups so that explanation can be given if necessary whilst maintaining a professional image.
  7. All staff and volunteers must respect other staff and volunteers time and efforts as they would their own.
  8. All staff and volunteers are responsible for looking after equipment and facilities for others to use in the future.
  9. Never leave any tools, equipment or keys unattended and always return to the tool room or storage at the end of use.
  10. Keep all communal areas, for example, shop, classroom, kids zone, field pathways, educational polytunnels, wearing sheds and care farm gardens, free from materials and equipment as these are high traffic areas used by children and visitors on a daily basis.
  11. Please be respectful of any closed sessions that may be in progress by refraining from interrupting or distracting staff and volunteers conducting them, entering designated areas in use or distracting participants within the group during activity, for example care farm sessions or visiting school groups.

The care farm follows a code of conduct which is monitored and evaluated by external organisations and the local authority, therefore compliance with this is essential to the maintaining of the Care Farm service on site.

6. Reporting Accidents, Incidents and Issues

Any volunteers who discover a hazard on site, including fire or items that could cause increased risk of injury, should report this to the duty member of staff. Any volunteers who have concerns about a specific health and safety issue on site should speak to the duty member of staff.

Accidents and incidents, including acts of aggression, should be logged in the accident book. The report should include a brief account of the incident and, where possible, an outline of any measures put in place to prevent recurrence of the incident. The duty member of staff on site should be informed of all incidents and is responsible for logging the accident report in the accident book or online via RIDDOR

Complaints and appeals procedures are available should any staff or volunteer require them.

7. Volunteering

Hopefully after absorbing all of our health and safety information you will still want to sign up to volunteer with us. There is just a short form to complete now.

Just click onto the button below to complete the form.