Econet Risk Assessment [CRoW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)]
Date: Wednesday, 11th May 2022  (10:00 - 14:30)
Activity: Car park maintenance

Site: Wokefield Common
Site Manager: BBOWT    Site Contact: Simon Barnett (01635) 35 157 or 07880 781 642
Meeting Point: Car Park    Nearest Postcode: RG7 3FL    Map Ref: SU653661 (apple.caged.wisely)
Directions: Meet at the site car park in Goring Lane near the junction with Hollybush Lane.

Bonfires: Notify Fire Service if having bonfire, telephone no. 0118 945 2888 and ask for the Control Room; call both before fire lit and at end of day when leaving site. "I'm .......... from Conserve Reading on Wednesdays conservation volunteers, we're at .......... today where we are .......... and will be having a bonfire (controlled fire)", you will then be asked for details of site location and a contact number.

Royal Berkshire Hospital (7.7m)
London Road, Reading, RG1 5AN Telephone: (0118) 322 5111
Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital (10.6m)
Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, RG24 9NA Telephone: (01256) 473 202

Minor Injury Unit:
West Berkshire Community Hospital (11.8m)
London Road, Benham Hill, Thatcham, RG18 3AS Telephone: (01635) 273 300

The main fire hazard is the gorse on the north side of the Common (on the opposite side of the road to the car park). There have been a number of fires in this part of the Common and the Fire Service should always be notified before starting a bonfire.

The Fire Service need not be notified of bonfires on the south side of the Common away from housing.

Hazard: Parts of the Common particular on the south side where there is heather may be badly rutted, the ruts being concealed by the heather.

See also BBOWT Site Risk Assessment.

Volunteer's Tools: Volunteers bring their own tools which must be fit for purpose, at their own risk. The Group cannot accept any responsibility for a volunteer's own tools unless by prior agreement.

Volunteer's Dogs: Dogs should only be brought to sites where they will not disturb wildlife and other livestock and where it is acceptable to the management and other users of the site. Dogs are brought at the owner's own risk, the group cannot accept any responsibility for their wellbeing.

Assessment Summary: Coronavirus (Tasks); General Conservation Activities; Public open space; Road crossings; Construction (paths, ponds, etc.);

Coronavirus (Tasks)
Last updated: 17/03/2022 10:25:50
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Contracting or transmitting coronavirus infection
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  Insurance considerations
We are advised by our insurers that from April 2021 our public liability insurance will not provide cover if volunteers or service users claim we are responsible for them catching Coronavirus, or any other infectious disease.
  • Contact with infected person
  • Contact with contaminated surface or material
  • Tasks must be organised in accordance with current government and HSE guidelines. See and Link(}.
  • From the 17th May 2021 we will no longer be limiting the number of volunteers participating in a task. However, restrictions will be reimposed if circumstances require.
  • Anyone who has had symptoms of coronavirus, lives in a household where someone has had symptoms in this period or is feeling unwell, should not participate.
  • Volunteers should bring their own gloves and hand sanitiser, these will not be provided by Econet.
  • Volunteers should use hand sanitiser at the start and end of the task and before eating or drinking.
  • Whenever possible gloves should be worn.
  • Volunteers should avoid sharing tools.
  • After use, tools must be wiped down with sanitiser or quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • When retrieving tools from storage, etc., keep handling of the tools to a minimum, wearing gloves and using hand sanitiser both before and after.
  • First aiders must read and regularly review the guidance given by St John Ambulance and the HSE on the delivery of first aid. First aiders should consider wearing a face mask when providing first aid. See and
General Conservation Activities
Last updated: 17/06/2020 18:17:08
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Minor cuts and bruises; burns; lower back pain; verbal abuse; electric shock; contracting disease; blisters; sunburn; Lyme Disease
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Manual handling
  • Contact with services
  • Contact with traffic
  • Volunteer's dogs
  • Contact with micro organisms
  • Irritant or poisonous plants
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Weather conditions
  • Keep site and materials tidy.
  • Make safe trip hazards highlighting any where this is not possible.
  • Tools (including volunteer's own) should be in good state of repair and fit for purpose.
  • Where possible tools being transported should be contained within tool bag(s) with blades guarded.
  • Give tools talk at start of task to impart and reinforce knowledge. (Volunteers should know name, purpose and correct manner of use of tools, including carrying techniques, storage, safe working distances and applicable protective clothing.)
  • Set aside damaged or blunt tools for maintenance or to be discarded.
  • Sturdy footwear should be worn.
  • Swinging tools should not be used with gloves (at least not on the hand gripping the tool) or in wet conditions; observe safe working distances.
  • Regularly check that safe working distances are being observed.
  • Tools not in use should be stored in tool bag or laid on ground in clear view where not a trip hazard.
  • Demonstrate safe lifting and handling techniques.
  • If available, use wheelbarrows and other handling aids to move heavier items.
  • Ensure routes for transporting tools and materials are kept clear.
  • Check for services as part of site inspection, mark and avoid. Avoid felling near overhead services. Pole saws must not be used within 15m of overhead electricity cables and power lines. Where underground services suspected, use hand tools for digging within 1m of line, do not use crowbars.
  • Unload vehicles away from traffic. Use tape, warning signs or cones where appropriate. Post lookouts to slow traffic whilst vehicles are manoeuvring.
  • Park vehicles to enable quick access and departure in emergency, and to allow access by emergency services.
  • Protect any cuts, advise all volunteers to ensure tetanus inoculation. Avoid contact with stream and pond water. Wear gloves when handling soil.
  • Warn of possible presence of irritant plants. Wear gloves and long sleeves when working with or near irritant plants; wash exposed skin thoroughly after work.
  • Wear long sleeves if biting insects may be present, use insect repellent. If wasp or bees' nest found, highlight and stop working in immediate vicinity.
  • Provide information about ticks and Lyme disease including symptoms. Advise volunteers to wear boots, long trousers and tops with sleeves to avoid ticks, tuck trousers into socks, and after task to check for ticks and bites and to seek immediate medical advise if they have concerns. Note: Although most common from late spring until autumn, tick bites can occur at any time of the year whenever the conditions exist for ticks to be active.
  • In hot or sunny conditions, keep skin covered and use high factor sun cream on exposed skin; stop work if volunteers ill attired for conditions, in discomfort or the work is increasing in risk.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Dogs brought by volunteers to tasks must be well behaved and under the control of their owner at all times, they must not put volunteers or others at risk by causing a distraction or otherwise disrupting the task.
Public open space
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Stress, distress, minor cuts and bruises, sickness
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers, general public
  • Contact with public
  • Abuse or aggression from public
  • Discarded sharps
  • Uncontrolled dogs
  • Dog faeces
  • If available, place warning signs at approaches to work area.
  • Keep paths clear of tools and debris.
  • Avoid volunteers working in isolation.
  • If confronted be conciliatory, avoid aggravating situation; be prepared to walk away.
  • If sharps found, do not touch or move, highlight location and advise site owner or manager.
  • Warn volunteers of possibility of dogs causing a distraction by entering the work area.
  • Warn volunteers of likely presence of dog faeces.
  • If practical, remove dog faeces from work areas using bags or burying where unlikely to be disturbed. Avoid skin contact.
Road crossings
Last updated:
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Serious injury; death
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; general public
  • Contact with traffic
  • Advise volunteers of fast moving traffic.
  • Ensure tools are carried correctly.
  • Ensure the carrying of tools does not impair the progress of either the carrier or others.
Construction (paths, ponds, etc.)
Last updated: 04/04/2022 18:22:58
Typical uncontrolled outcomes
Cement burns; respiratory distress; lower back strains; minor bruises and sprains; twisted ankles; stomach complaints
Typical groups at risk
Volunteers; other site users; general public
  • Contact with hand tools
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Manual handling
  • Use of mell and post driver
  • Contact with treated timber
  • Contact with cement dust and mortar
  • Contact with paint or other chemicals
  • Soil borne infections
  • Tools: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment.
  • Slips, trips and falls: See "General Conservation Activities" risk assessment.
  • Hard hats must be worn when using either post driver or mell, and use bar to hold stakes or posts in position.
  • Demonstrate safe lifting and handling techniques.
  • If available, use wheelbarrows and other handling aids to move heavier items.
  • Ensure routes for transporting tools and materials are kept clear.
  • Divert public away from working area using waring signs if available, and leave safe at end of day.
  • Avoid treating timber; use pre-treated timber where available and suitable.
  • Treated timber should be dry and protective gloves worn when handling.
  • Waste treated timber must be disposed of via waste facility and not burnt.
  • Cement and mortar must be used in accordance with manufacture's instructions (which must be available). Face masks should be used to protect from dust.
  • Always wash hands or use cleansing wipes or gel before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Take frequent breaks when undertaking heavy or repetitive tasks such as when hammering or using slasher or strimmer, or alternate with other (lighter) task to reduce risk of strains and injuries associated with vibration and repetitive movement.
  • Where paint, timber preservative or other chemicals are being used: See "Use of Chemicals" risk assessment.
Face masks; Rigger gloves;

Construction (paths, ponds, etc.): Hard hats;

Actual items needed may vary according to the task.

Background Information

Lyme Disease
Bacterial infection transmitted from animals to humans by tick bites. Animal hosts include deer, foxes, sheep, squirrels and rodents. Ticks are most active in the early summer and autumn although they may be found at other times. They are often located on tall vegetation in woodlands and heaths from where they can attach themselves to their host. To protect yourself wear long sleeves and long trousers tucked in to your socks. Check for ticks on your return home, if found it should be removed immediately. Removal is best achieved with fine-toothed tweezers, pulling steadily away from the skin.

Only a small minority of tick bites carry Lyme Disease. Symptoms include a red, expanding rash parts of which may clear as it enlarges resulting in a "bull's-eye" appearance. Other symptoms are fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If you think you may have contacted Lyme Disease please seek medical advise immediate. Treatment is with antibiotics, without treatment a number of serious conditions can arise including a viral-like meningitis, facial palsy, other nerve damage or arthritis.

Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website,

Last updated: 22/03/2021 13:12:20

   Econet's Health and Safety Policy can be found at

   26 April 2022 09:50 T2205113614