1 General statement
Volunteers make a valuable contribution to our business. For this reason, we will take steps to safeguard their health and safety in the same way that we would if they were our employees. This means that we will endeavour to provide a healthy and safe environment which they will enjoy working in. Should any volunteer have any concerns over health and safety, they will be dealt with promptly.
2 Definition of volunteer
A volunteer is widely defined as a person who freely chooses to give their time for the benefit of others. This is done without any expectation of financial reward, except for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses. A volunteer is not considered to be an employee of our business.
3 Legal position
We still owe volunteers a common law duty of care to safeguard their health, safety and welfare whilst they are carrying out work on our behalf. This exists irrespective of whether they are working on our premises or not. We also owe volunteers a specific duty under s.3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This requires us to take steps to ensure that non-employees are not exposed to any risks to their health and safety as a result of the carrying out of our business.
4 Risk assessment
In order to comply with our legal duties, a risk assessment will be carried out. This will look at the activities which we would like the volunteer to carry out. If a risk assessment has already been carried out for these tasks, it should be referred to for this purpose. If the volunteer has any health or mobility problems, then these will need to be taken into account. If the identified risks are only trivial, then a written assessment will not be necessary. Assessments will also need to be carried out if manual handling tasks or work with hazardous substances is to be undertaken.
Where a risk assessment has identified the need for volunteers to be provided with personal protective equipment, such as gloves or eye protection, this will be provided by us without charge.
All volunteers will be covered by our Employers’ Liability insurance. In the event that a volunteer will work with members of the public, our public liability insurance policy will be extended to cover this.
All volunteers will be provided with induction training. This will be carried out by the member of staff responsible for that volunteer. If a risk assessment has determined that a volunteer needs specific information and training in order to carry out their tasks safely, this will be provided to them. The costs of any training will be borne by us.