Health and Safety

Garden aims

 To create and maintain green spaces for wildlife, plants and people.

To support enjoyment and learning about nature

To promote an inclusive community and nurture wellbeing

Policy Aims

 It is the aim of the FGCG through its Health & Safety Policy, as far as is reasonably practicable:

  • To provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for volunteers, and to provide such resources, information, training and supervision as needed for these purposes.
  • To provide a safe environment for community events
  • To provide a safe environment for the public to visit the Garden during permitted opening hours.

 We will do this by:

For volunteers:

  • Providing adequate information, supervision, training and instruction as necessary, together with consultation, to enable all volunteers to work safely and effectively, and contribute positively to their own health and safety and of those around them.
  • Maintaining good general working conditions by providing adequate facilities such as lighting, ventilation and protective clothing.
  • Arranging for the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of all items of equipment and hazardous substances.
  • Making available, supervising, training and encouraging the use of all personal protective equipment.
  • Ensuring all users of power tools have received appropriate training on their use and maintenance.
  • Supplying all volunteers with a copy of the Health and Safety requirements for working in the Garden and requiring them to sign to say they have read and understood them.
  • Ensure new volunteers record any allergies/relevant medical conditions on their volunteer form and the information is displayed in the container
  • Displaying the Health and Safety rules prominently on site.

For Garden events:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment for each type of event.
  • Ensuring the organiser of the event has received and contributed to a full Health and Safety briefing.
  • Including Health and Safety advice in publicity if appropriate.
  • For an event formally organised by the Garden, but taking place offsite such as a guided walk, it is for the event organiser to carry out a written risk assessment of the activity in advance. Templates are available.

(The Health and Safety requirements of each event will vary according to the nature of the event).
For the general public:

  • Ensuring at least one Host[1] is present at all times when the Garden is open to the public.
  • Displaying the Health and Safety rules on site and ensuring visitors observe the rules

Implementing the policy

When Gardening:

  • One Host will be designated as the lead person at each session.
  • All participants have the responsibility to achieve an environment conducive to health and safety and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
  • Participants should never operate equipment without appropriate training and without checking with the Host present.
  • Participants should avoid situations that might endanger themselves or others.
  • Participants must always act in a reasonable manner with due respect for themselves and others.
  • Children must only be allowed to use tools with careful surveillance, and if necessary children’s access to tools should be limited.
  • Tools should always be stored neatly in a designated area and not left lying around on site. You are more likely to injure yourself on a tool getting it out and putting it away than using it in the Garden.
  • Only assistance dogs will be allowed on site.
  • A basic first aid kit will be available. Any accidents should be recorded in the accident book.
  • The Host must ensure that Health and Safety guidelines are available. The guidelines should be amended if any new hazards or considerations become apparent. Any new sites for gardening must follow the same procedures.

At events which are open to the public and during public access:

  • A Host must be appointed and at least one other volunteer.
  • External event organisers are responsible for carrying out risk assessments regarding any equipment or materials they use on site and for the safe condition of their equipment.
  • The Host will be responsible for determining and making public the presence of any emergency exits and first aid kits, and for pointing out any known hazards.
  • The Host should stay on site until the arranged activity time has ended. If they are unable to, alternative arrangements for cover must be made.
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and they must be made aware of their responsibility for the child(ren)’s safety. Exceptions may be made for Duke of Edinburgh Award students, who must be over 14.
  • Only assistance dogs will be allowed on site.
  • Any accidents should be recorded in the accident book.

Monitoring the effectiveness of the policy

  • Evidence will be recorded of any breaches of the policy and the consequences.
  • The accident book will be scrutinised to examine the nature of any accidents and whether they could have been prevented.
  • If necessary, appropriate amendments will be made to the policy before the review date.

This policy was reviewed by Trustees on 14th March 2024

 Review date March 2025



Health and Safety Guidelines to be displayed in The Community Garden and signed by all new volunteers

While the work is not particularly dangerous there are risks, as there are with any physical outdoor work, so we ask everyone to take responsibility for keeping yourselves and others safe. Please read the rules below and sign the registration form to confirm you’ve understood them and will follow them. Above all please use your common sense and take care – accidents are most likely to arise through carelessness.

Health and safety is a collective responsibility so we ask you to follow these basic rules:

Signing in

When arriving at the site please sign in with one of the Hosts so we know who is on site at any time.

Trip Hazards
The ground is uneven and overgrown in places, hiding hazards. Take care walking around the site and look out for trip hazards, bumps, holes, large roots etc. If you notice anything that could be a danger, please inform the Host straight away.

Clothing and Footwear
Please dress appropriately for the work. It is essential that you wear gloves and appropriate, sturdy footwear such as boots when working. No sandals, flip-flops or open shoes will be allowed. We recommend long sleeves and trousers, of sturdy material, to avoid thorns. For some tools it is better not to wear gloves. Seek advice.

Working and using Tools
Please only do the work you’re asked to do by a Host. If you’re unsure what to do, please ask.
Only use power tools if you have received appropriate training and ensure they are suitably stored after use.
If you are unsure how to use a tool, please ask.
Never leave tools lying on the ground – prop them up somewhere visible or return them to a key holder. 
If you have brought any tools and you are aware of the risks/defects you must tell us right away. (It is your responsibility to look after your tools and take them with you at the end of the day).
Do not work too close to anyone else and, if approaching someone else, make sure they know you are there. Stand well clear of people using tools and of any branches during tree pruning.
If you are concerned that someone else’s behaviour may pose a risk, please tell the Host. If anyone is engaged in dangerous behaviour they can be asked to leave.

Rest and Health Conditions
If you have any medical conditions that might affect your ability to do the job you have been given, you must tell one of the organisers right away.
Please ensure you do not over-exert yourself. Take a rest whenever you need to and swap jobs where necessary. This is not an endurance test!

It is your responsibility to keep yourself well hydrated, fed, warm and protected from the sun.

Make sure you wash your hands before you handle food or eat after working in the Garden.


For those working in soil regularly it is strongly advised to keep your tetanus jabs up to date. Check with your GP/health adviser.

If you do injure yourself or see someone injured (or have a near-miss) tell one of the organisers straight away. We will ask you to fill in an incident form. A basic first aid kit is available on site, but you must administer it yourself or take responsibility for doing so safely. If necessary go to A & E.

Children are very welcome, but we ask that any minor brought onto the site must be signed in and be supervised at all times by their parent/carer who is fully responsible for their safety and behaviour.

Please sign the registration form to confirm you have read and understood this briefing




[1] A Host is an experienced volunteer/staff member who has undergone suitable Hosting training. There may be a keyholder in attendance as well as a Host. The Host is the responsible person for health and safety.